Many businesses depend upon trade shows as an essential touchpoint within their demand generation strategy. In-person events can influence every stage of the buyer’s journey, from awareness all the way through the sale.

During one event, you can qualify and segment hundreds of leads, meet with current prospects to respond to questions or objectives, close sales, and even maintain relationships with previous customers.

For these reasons, it can seem hopelessly daunting to try to replicate the effectiveness of a trade show in other ways within your demand generation strategy. 

Fortunately, there are opportunities to strengthen your strategy even without in-person events. Here are some ways to redirect your efforts:


1. Video content, video content, and more video content

When you can’t show up in person to show off your product, give out samples, and perform demonstrations, video marketing will become your new best friend. 

Although your prospects won’t be able to see, hold, or test your product out in real life, videos can provide a detailed view of features, functionality, and the customer experience.

In addition, video marketing also allows you to use imagery and sound to communicate your brand personality. A strong brand personality helps your leads develop brand affinity, making them more likely to purchase. 

Whatever brand personality you hoped to portray with your trade show booth-quirky and fun, knowledgeable and reliable, earthy and natural, etc-can be demonstrated via video marketing.

You can use a variety of types of video throughout your demand marketing strategy. Demonstrations, testimonials, Q&As, tutorials, and brand videos will help fill the gap left by trade show cancellations.


2. Double down on social media

Human contact…remember that? It’s beginning to fade from memory. On a personal level, many of us are leaning on social media to stay connected. The same effect should apply for your marketing efforts.

Now is a great time to focus on your social media branding. Social media branding relies on both brand identity, the type of content you share, and the way you interact with your audience. Ensure that each of these factors are aligned.

Not only do you have a chance to speak to your audience via social media, you have a chance to listen. If you benefited from receiving feedback during trade shows, you can instead seek feedback from your social media audience.

Being responsive will create a strong connection with your prospects, an important factor within any demand generation strategy. With consistent responsiveness, you will be able to build brand loyalty among your followers more easily.

Quality content is also essential to your social media strategy. Utilize your video marketing content and other valuable offerings to build trust with your audience. Brand trust is essential to a prospect’s decision to purchase. 


3. Take advantage of online events 

Participating in and hosting virtual events and webinars brings your target audience together from wherever they happen to be. 

To decide what kinds of online events to create or join, take a look at your target audience and where they sit within your sales funnel. 

For example, a webinar allows you to speak to a more qualified audience that is further along in the sales funnel. A multi-business online promotional event, on the other hand, might be most beneficial for leads at the top of the funnel as you’ll have the opportunity to partner up and cross-sell.

Continue to provide free valuable content within your online events to build trust with your audience and increase the likelihood of future sales. 


With some smart redirection, your demand generation strategy can remain stable until in-person events are back in action. Until then, your friends at Exhibit Options are finding new ways to bring value to our clients, such as branded, configurable solutions and installations at any budget, as well as virtual booth rendering. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

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