It’s becoming more clear that tradeshows and exhibitions are a thing of the past! With exponentially more tradeshows, exhibitions, and fairs getting cancelled and no clear vision of when the next one will be, there may be some doubts and worries going through your mind. You may be asking yourself how will you recoup the missed sales from these cancellations? Are their alternatives to your promotion strategy without field promotion?
The world is changing and with change comes uncertainty. What is needed are answers, not more questions. Our solution is simple: sometimes to think big you’ve got to go small. If you’ve never thought about pivoting to roadshow marketing, now might be the time. It could just be the right solution for you.
Specializing in roadshows, we’ve always believed in alternatives to the widespread popularity of traditional trade shows and fairs. Their large-scale, mass-appeal are not as effective as targeted promotion. Now, with the novel coronavirus, they have also become unfeasible.
Trade shows, exhibitions, and fairs of all sizes have been cancelled and postponed. While some big fairs such as MWC (Mobile World Congress) or the Web Summit will survive to put on another edition, many others will stop existing. Those relying on such events to promote their brands need to turn to other options. To think big, sometimes it’s necessary to go small. Events are still a possibility but they must be small, targeted, and therefore mobile to succeed. Small-scale events are the future reality of events.
Some brands, such as the Chinese companies Huawei and Hikvision, are already recognizing the importance of going small, but mobile is to reach their sales goals.
Breaking Into The European Market Through Roadshows
Huawei and Hikvision are two Chinese companies that are proponents of roadshows for their mobile, targeted qualities. Huawei is the Chinese telecom giant founded in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei. 13 years after, they set their sights on Europe. 2020 marks the 20 year anniversary of Huawei’s presence in Europe, going from a small R&D center in Sweden to employing over 13,300 people across the continent. Part of their expansion strategy over the years has been to use roadshows to go straight to their customers and showcase their newest technology to them in the simplest way imaginable. This has been especially pertinent for the Enterprise and Carrier sectors. Targeting businesses over consumers means that face-to-face interaction has been primordial in their strategy. This becomes especially important when there are significant cultural differences which could be further hampered by relying solely on digital communication.
Hikvision is another Chinese company which has used roadshows as a key marketing strategy in their break into the European market. This company, specializing in video surveillance, was established in 2001. In 2016 they opened their first European Head Office and Logistics Centre in the Netherlands, after 6 years of steady European expansion. Hikvision had already been reaching over 50% growth in its local branch offices scattered across Europe, proving it to be a lucrative market. Access to new technologies, high-tech assets and knowledge, broader commercial access into the European market, and entrance to third markets via European corporate networks are all common reasons for Chinese companies to turn to European growth.
These two companies exemplify Chinese businesses success in breaking into the European market. Currently, the total Chinese investment in Europe, including mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and green-field investments, now amounts to $348 billion.
Turning To Small-Scale For Big Gains
Hikvision has maintained itself at the forefront of using alternative events prioritizing mobility and targeting. As a key component of their expansion strategy, they have toured around Europe in order to increase brand awareness in a targeted and memorable manner. Previously, they’d toured Europe with three identical trucks carrying their products. These products functioned in a real, working set up, allowing Hikvision to demonstrate them as realistically as possible. As of this year, they’ve added a fleet of many, smaller showrooms in addition to their successful big truck. Hikvision is now adjusting their product line to fit into a series of InfoWheels. An InfoWheels is the largest mobile promotion unit in our fleet for a category B driving license. In the coming months, Hikvision will drive its InfoWheels across the Netherlands for a strategic sales opportunity of their products deemed helpful during this crisis.
There are 5 reasons why they’ve pivoted towards small-scale roadshows as their strategy during todays current climate.
1. Novel; A Roadshow Is A Break From The Norm
A roadshow is a new way to present yourself and your brand as novel and innovative. It’s a way to show your out-of-the-box thinking with a creative opportunity brought upon by difficult times. Now, more than ever, is it important for businesses, both B2B and B2C to stand out from the pack.
2. Safe Face-To-Face Interaction
Everybody is turning to the digital for their online sales. But, online marketing and virtual tours miss the personal touch that physical facetime does. Attempts at virtual fairs and exhibitions are not turning out to be the innovative trade show of the future. Small events allow you to have this face-to-face interaction in a controlled way. With a small-scale event and the same unit in which to promote or display your wares, physical contact can be minimized and contained, without sacrificing the experience and depth of in-person interaction. An added bonus: you reduce the need for business travel. You don’t need to make your customers risk traveling to come to you when you can go straight to them.
Trade shows are known and deified for their networking possibilities. But many times, it’s easy to get lost in the mix when their scale increases. Sometimes, it’s better to take a more targeted approach and go to the customers and audiences that will really make a difference in your sales. This also ensures goodwill with your target audience, as they will be attending an event relevant to them, with more personalized attention.
4. Wide Reach
One fear with small-scale events is that by keeping your target audience contained, there’s a fear of missing out. With a mobile event, this is no longer an issue, as mobility allows a wide reach. A wide reach gives you the freedom to reach as many potential customers as you can while keeping it targeted. A mobile event allows you to go straight to your target audience in multiple locations where they can be found.
5. Undivided Attention From Your Customer
Trade shows and exhibitions enable easy personal interaction with customers. What is usually not mentioned is that while your customers have a chance to view your products and team first-hand, you’re also doing so in an environment where they can also do so with all your competitor. With many other companies vying for attention, dazzling keynotes, and the general chaos that comes along with such type of events, it’s difficult to assure that you’ve conveyed your key message to your customer. Roadshows provide the unique opportunity to go to your customer at their convenience and guarantee their full, undivided attention.
The landscape of events is changing faster than it ever has before. To succeed, your strategy must now be towards a small, targeted audience, with the mobility and reach necessary to stand out. Small scale mobile showrooms are the solution to creating an impactful sales and marketing strategy.