Information today is shared almost instantaneously. Email, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and many other social media platforms, individuals, businesses and government agencies can get their messages or latest news out to their target audiences.
Marketing has been transformed tremendously in the process and brands are seeking to see to how they can increase their presence and capitalize on the opportunities that are inherent within the new media. This change in communication has many marketers questioning if face-to-face meetings are still viable.
However, increasingly more and more people still believe that face-to-face meetings are important, says a report from Meeting Professionals Incorporated. 40% of leads became customers after face-to-face meetings. Face-to-face meetings also ‘seal the deal’. They are necessary for negotiating important contracts and understanding customers.
Face-to-face meetings instill trust between parties. People still desire to put a face to the words; even if webinars are used, people still appreciate the human contact. Customers like to know that there are real human beings behind the brands they interact with.
The advantage of using webinars, though, are easy to grasp – travel time and expense are non-issues; meetings can be held with parties in different time zones or hemispheres; the cost of setting up a webinar is a fraction of travel costs.
Intelligent marketers will choose both virtual and face-to-face marketing. Trade shows are the perfect opportunity for brands to interact with their consumers. Prior to the trade show, though, social media and other virtual communication offer the best way to inform clients and customers that you will be there in person.
Use YouTube to spread your message to your customers and other potential clients; tweet news about trade show, but also about other related issues. Invite your followers on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to drop by your booth and you can also have a contest or drawing, or special prize for those who visit your booth.
Of course, social media will be utilized during the trade show to continue to engage with your market, letting others know all relevant news and information, and to remind people you are present. Social media will be used following the trade show to thank all your customers who visited you.
Face-to-face meetings in other circumstances are useful when your sales team has that significant contract to close. Then, social media will be a great tool to inform others of this great news.