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The decline of the Trade shows

  • Trade shows decline due to the Internet
  • Trade shows are expensive - Websites cost significant lesser
  • The Internet has become a 24 x 7 worldwide trade show
  • Problem: identifying the incognito visitors on your website

Trade shows for business to businesses (B2B) used to be the places for exposing new products and solutions to the market.
It had become great place for meeting with customers and finding prospects or lead generation.
At the same time a vendor, an importer, a distributor or manufacturer could get a quick update on new offerings on the market by strolling through the corridors around his booth as companies with similar offerings were grouped together.
Even financial institutions came to visit trade shows in order to learn about a specific trade or business segment as all-important players were lined up near each other.

Trade shows could cost heaps of money, but was paid back by leads, prospecting, customer contacts and brand exposure. The latter was sometimes even more important in order to show off to your competitors and customers how well the company was doing, by the size and the costs involved in the booth price and running the booth (including parties).

However times have changed:

  • New products are first announced on the Internet
  • Vendors and manufacturers do their competitive analysis on the Internet
  • Potential buyers or existing customers gather information over the Internet.
  • And Sales people are spoiling their time on booths, waiting for a visitor to pass along.

Moreover Sales are starting to spend more time on the mobile phone or behind their portable during trade shows, than actively looking to capture leads on the trade show. This due to the fact of the ever decreasing number of visitors on the trade shows.

The extinction of Trade shows by the Search Engines

It is not so much the Internet, which has killed the trade shows, but the search engines. They make it possible to find products and services 24 by 7 in a very easy and convenient way.
The whole Internet with all it's websites, have become the biggest tradeshow, open night and day and with worldwide reach.
People or potential buyers can look for any product or any service by just tapping a few keywords on a search engine.
The outcome of the search can be manipulated or website (advertising) links can be added at a cost to influence the potential buyer. This is all about Search Engine Optimization and Advertising techniques.

Thus now instead of getting visitors at your booth, your company gets visitors on its website. Not solely during a specific time lap, but any moment of any day of the year.

Virtual Incognito Visitors

These virtual visitors pose several problems:

  • Timing: any moment of the day
  • Frequency of visits: as much as they want or feel like
  • Interests: anything on your website and they won't tell you what
  • Identification: the more anonymous the more they like it.
  • Groups by company: people don't come in groups to your website as they do on trade shows, they visit this individually
  • Communication: has become unidirectional (one direction) and the same message for everybody: whatever is on your website is your communication to your visitors.
  • Contact data: hardly any visitor leaves a contact like email or telephone number. It is rare but it happens

How to handle these problems:
Once you get visitors to your website, it is required to know who is visiting and what is showing up as interesting.
A tool or service for visitor discovery and identification is required.

Although visitors surf the Internet incognito, they do leave all kinds of trails and indications behind: 

  • The origin:
    • The previous page visited 
    • The search engine keywords 
  • Browser language, indicating the language used at work. 
  • IP of the internet access point, which can be the Internet Service Provider or the company itself 
    • Which allows for revealing the ISP of Company name 
    • Which allows for IP Geo-location - Location by time during the day of visit: employees normally work during office hours, thus this is an indication of location on the world. 
  • Time spend on pages, number of page views of the same page, total visit time 
  • Visit paths : the sequence of the pages visited
  • Returning visitors: by using cookies or other technologies it is possible to recognize returning visitors.

This complete set of features allows discovering and identifying the visitor, which is supplied by the LEADSExplorer DISCOVER package as web service.

Email initiated visitor tracking solutions

It was typical to send out a first mailing after the tradeshow, and include the newly obtained addresses in all the following emails and newsletters.

Email initiated visitor tracking solutions use a link to a landing page or a tracking code inside the email. When the email receiver clicks on the link, he will be accounted and tracked on the website.

Due to the decreasing number of leads captured on Trade Shows, possibility of sending mailings has decreased too.
As there are less leads obtained from trade shows, less number of people can be addressed.
This is a problem for all solutions based upon emailing.

Identifying visiting companies without sending email first

This makes the LEADSExplorer solution even more interesting and needed, as it will track every visitor, who will visit your website, instead of visiting your booth on a trade show.

visiting companies


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