Conversations on the tradeshow floor are changing and so should our approaches to communicating them.
Sustainability, environmental pressures, and digitalization are drastically changing the sales and business conversations our clients are having with their customers and suppliers on the tradeshow floor. Good communicators who want to go the distance must pivot to meet the challenges and opportunities of building brands in this environment.
Last week saw EMG’s teams in Europe and China support 10 clients at Chinaplas and the Hannover Messe. This week we are at JEC World 2023 in Paris, and in May it will be the turn of Interpack and The Battery Show.
This year’s Hannover Messe has put advancements in automation, digitalization, and smart manufacturing under the spotlight with its theme of “Industrial Transformation”.
Chinaplas was particularly significant because international visitors had access to this show for the first time in three years due to the Covid pandemic and China’s accelerated implementation of its “dual carbon” plan. In this respect it is crucially important for market players to not only comply with the carbon plan, but to develop the relevant messages and proof points that substantiate their contribution to help meet this goal.
Tradeshows have become much more than just insular opportunities for companies to present their products, showcase new developments and connect with customers to do business once or twice per year. The themes we have seen emerging are globally relevant and not limited to specific sectors or geographic regions.
In this light, tradeshows should be viewed as part of a series of interconnected events and actions that helps to consolidate a long-term marketing strategy. It is an experience that brings to life the press releases, digital marketing and advertising that brands roll out between these milestones and opens the door for building relationships that last.
It takes a dedicated and knowledgeable team to plan and accomplish a successful tradeshow media strategy, from the balancing act of raising interest amongst your journalistic networks before the event without giving away too much, to managing the time pressure of maintaining a steady schedule of interviews often disrupted by developments outside of your control.
The tactical best practices that we know so well still apply, but in a changing environment for industrial production where the future looks very different, three attributes can set communications professionals – and the brands they represent - apart from the pack.
1. Understanding the (much) bigger picture:
Knowledge of macro-trends and insights that go beyond the company or client’s business helps communicators see bigger opportunities and ensures a longer-term strategic view.
2. Ability to build an in-depth narrative:
Not only blend in key messages alongside news, but express shared purpose and uniqueness. Reflecting a values-based approach to manufacturing in the industrial, scientific, and technology sectors helps to create trust.
3. Using the art of conversation to build relationships:
Focused on the story, interviews often go down the Q&A route. Listening well and giving thoughtful responses turns interviews into conversations that can make personal connections between brands, spokespersons, and the media.
The key to making the most of the big investments tradeshows usually represent, is working with an experienced partner who knows the ins-and-outs of international shows in the industrial technology sector.
Want to learn more? Please get in touch with Lynn Erasmus, Operations Director at EMG in the Netherlands.
EMG is a member of Eurocom Worldwide, the global PR Network for B2B & Technology, in Benelux and China.