We have been discussing events as a recruitment channel today with a number of e-commerce businesses. I asked Andrew Veitch, his view and this is what he said!
Should I attend the consumer show?
1. Frame of mind
Certain marketing channels catch people who are in frame of mind to buy: for example a search engine advert, TV shopping channels, eBay, Groupon or even within a bricks and mortar shop.
Certain marketing channels catch people who are in a frame of mind of relaxation, enjoyment where buying is not uppermost in their minds: for example display adverts and regular TV.
Obviously the first group are preferred over the second group. In my experience most people go to shows and events for enjoyment, sometimes for research but generally not to buy.
2. Cost per thousand
This is the classic richness v. reach trade-off. Face to face meeting with customers are a very rich experience but have very low reach. Few consumer businesses are based on one to one meetings with all their customers!
A trade show can easily work out £500 CPT whereas TV would be more like £3 CPT.
Even if the answer to 1. above is that the point of the show is to raise awareness then you would be much better on TV.
Trade shows scale linearly at best. Whilst theoretically you could hire lots of people to travel the country it is a lot of work and even more cost.
4. No standout
At a show you will always be lined beside lots of competing companies. Even if the companies are not direct, head to head competitors they will certainly be in the same general category and competing for the same spend.
In TV you will never see two adverts in the same category per break. Would I want to advertise during a break that featured nothing but coffee companies? I think not.
5. Big brands don’t do it
I’ve based my career on copying successful businesses. I don’t see big companies launching brands at shows. If they don’t do it, there must be a good reason. Of course the reasons are 1-4 above!