Deploying DIGITAL Strategies as Trade Show Alternatives

industry trade shows

The Change is Here

You had plans, budgeting time and resources to hit your targets. Then in almost an instant, the world changes on you and you’re left with no choice but to rework your approach. It’s frustrating and disruptive to your entire organization. But If you’re waiting for industry events to start again, inaction is a risk most businesses can’t afford to take if they want to succeed in 2020.

Conferences allow you to make valuable face-to-face connections on the trade show floor that help your business grow and thrive. So what should you do now? The answer may surprise you -- your business will need to start generating cost-effective leads online to stay competitive. Fear not, I’m here to share with you my perspective on what you can prioritize now to step up your digital game.

Shiftng Customer Engagement from In-Person to Digital (It’s Where Many of Your Customers Are Anyway)

The first thing to understand is that your online presence needs to represent the way modern customers want to buy. If your customers are typically found at industry events, a well-designed website will do everything your team is meant to do at the trade show booth. Your “digital trade show booth” presents value with a unique personality, it has a friendly way of disqualifying people who will never buy, and it creates a frictionless experience for your ideal customers to engage with your sales team.

When you’re unable to lock eyes with a prospect approaching the 15-ft invisible “I’m going to engage with you” radius on the trade show floor, you need to find a way to bring them to your website. The solution is two-fold: make great searchable content and always link it back.

I challenge you and your team to create as much content as possible around the most specific problems your customers would seek answers to, then give it away as freely as you would that sweet tradeshow swag. Start with one ideal customer profile and develop material based around that. What industry are they in? How much revenue do they produce? Are they B2B, B2C, or a combination of both?

If you’re not something to someone, then you’ll end up being nothing to everyone. Be the company that shows up in the right place, at the right time, when a problem needs to be solved.

Click here if you want to talk about where your quality leads are spending their time on the internet


Whether it’s text, audio, or video - serve up real information and original ideas with a structure in place so leads land on your website. Maybe paying for ads to generate traffic will help lift you off the ground, but it can get pricey and needs to be done strategically.

Over time there’s nothing more effective at driving qualified leads than developing the reputation as a thought leader in your space. What CEO doesn’t want a team of experts?


Take steps towards engaging more online communities as trade show alternatives. Get your team comfortable on video and don’t be timid about having a little conviction on message boards. These platforms are easy to use and cost effective:

  • Zoom – host virtual meetings, webinars, as close as it gets to a trade show
  • Linkedin – engage with your professional network, see what your peers are doing
  • Slack – create a community, find a public interest group, share ideas, collaborate!

If you’re struggling to find your voice, it’s natural. Get over it by focusing on the fact that people need to know the information you have. If you’re thoughtful and authentic, it’s going to be reciprocated.

Are These Changes Permanent or Temporary? Both...

Having said all that, your digital trade show booth isn’t worth anything if it’s going to collapse during the show. There are thousands of software products that claim to strengthen your digital game, but this is where our agency expertise can really add value. We’ll evaluate your current system, and create a plan that makes sense to set your team up for success. Our job is to get you fitted for the right products to implement at the right time. We help you avoid unnecessary ‘functions and features’ that don’t contribute to hitting your goals.

You do know - the opportunity to invest in lead generation through industry events and trade shows will come back. But in the interim, allow this change in plans to create an opportunity to leverage proven technology and strategic expertise that could generate new business online today. You may be surprised by what you discover.

In summary, times are tough, it’s going to take creativity, curiosity, and grit to engage your customers in a new way moving forward. Take the steps to go DIGITAL.


Don’t panic
Identify your ideal customer profile
Generate quality searchable content
Inspire action on your website
Transform into a thought leader
Align with the best of breed tech
Let Revenue River show you the way

How have you been nurturing your leads from past events? Let’s schedule a time to talk about moving your trade show booth online. 


HubSpot Website Design Impact Award Winner