Hats off to trade show sales teams – You achieve a lot with little marketing support!

September, 2019

Often when I walk onto the sales floor at a trade show organisers office I’m blown away by the energy, noise and gusto I see, hear and feel. This is, of course, exactly the kind of sales environment needed to win when selling exhibition space in such a competitive market.

Having said this, trade show sales teams could sell a lot more square footage/meterage and Event Directors could exceed revenue/profit target if their marketing teams focused more of their time and resources on exprom lead generation.
Considering that it’s exhibitor sales that bring in revenue for an event, you could (arguably) say that selling exhibitor space is the most critical aspect of putting on a trade show.
In our 2019 Trade Show Marketing Insights Report, we surveyed several hundred event directors, marketing managers and sales managers from global trade show organisers. One of the questions we asked was how their marketing departments support their ExProm efforts.



This section of the survey could actually be rephrased “how event marketing DOESN’T support exprom efforts”. Below are the results from this question:


41% of the exhibition sales teams get ZERO lead-generating support from their marketing teams, although 40% of this group said that marketing announces exhibitor signups and uses social media to amplify exhibitor success stories and testimonials.
69% of those surveyed don’t use any form of digital advertising to generate leads for their sales team, yet 42% say that marketing supports exprom sales teams by offering an inbound marketing strategy (exhibitor prospects find us and fill in a form on an event website).
On an extremely positive note, 7% of those surveyed clearly support their exprom sales team with a combination of marketing tactics that could be taken out of a B2B lead generation best practice playbook.
In general, event marketing teams are heavily focused on visitor and delegate acquisition, but I think it’s fair to say that they could be doing a lot more to help their sales teams with lead generation.
I also think that we need to do a massive hat-tip to the majority of event sales teams for being able to generate and close all the exhibition leads they do without much marketing assistance.

If your sales team needs some marketing assistance, check out our Exhibitor Promotion solution to see how we can help.

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Eric Louw
Eric Louw

Eric Louw


Some people are just destined to market B2B events. Eric is one of those people. It’s not because he’s passionate about B2B events (that’s a given), it’s because he’s passionate about helping B2B event organisers maximise their marketing budget with digital marketing tactics.

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