Finding ongoing value from events

Trade shows and industry conferences are critical aspects of the B2B industry. From the limitless handshakes and business card exchanges to the educational seminars, networking events and other activities, these events test preparation, social aptitude, industry knowledge and over the course of several days, endurance.

No matter the format, there is ample opportunity to learn at industry events. Taking advantage of a front-row seat to discussions among industry leaders bears valuable fruit, allowing B2B professionals to dive deeper in the industry, provide higher-quality, more targeted work and improve strategic insights.

Here are some insights to help marketers of all sorts – from PR professionals to advertisers and brand strategists – make the most of industry events.

1. Take the temperature of the industry.

Events offer a unique meeting of great minds - bringing thought leaders together in one place for discussion of the most important topics and trends in the industry. Take advantage of these perspectives and align your messaging – whether in press releases, thought leadership content or product brochures – to fit the latest discussion of major industry trends. Understanding what forces affect a client’s industry enables marketers to keep messaging up-to-date and elevate stories to higher level conversations.

2. Generate content ideas.

Industry events are a great place to scope out the competition, keep tabs on the buzz and make it easier to stay ahead of the curve. Be sure to document what you see. Pictures from events can be incorporated into social media posts, blogs and other marketing projects.

3. Dig deeper with vertical market-specific insights.

Different applications require a degree of nuance: sporting goods retailers face different industry pressures than booksellers, food and beverage distributors face different challenges than e-commerce fulfillment operations. Marketers must keep tabs on vertical market trends and understand how new pressures – for example, government regulations like the Food Safety Modernization Act – affect customers. Targeted industry events like IRCE and IFDA offer a great opportunity to take a deep dive and immerse yourself in specific trends, terminology, regulatory and compliance challenges, competitive tendencies and other key drivers. This enhanced expertise shines through with more relevant, effective marketing output.

While these suggestions may not spit out short-term sales, they enhance the reach and relevance of brands amongst critical audiences. Doing this homework shines through in developing marketing messages that stand out from competitors, capitalizing on the latest macrotrends driving the industry and accounting for the nuances that make customers tick.