Lately, the same questions keep coming up when I talk to my customers: “Are you going to the XXX show? Do you think I should?“
This question used to have a different connotation in the past, where trade shows were the main method of getting new leads and meeting customers from places you normally wouldn’t go to. The answer to this question depends on how busy you are, how good the show is, what the cost of doing the show is, and what booth location you can get.
Today, more issues and questions are actually coming up before the usual ones, which stem from the Covid-19 era. Is it safe to travel there? Or actually, is it safe to travel in general? What are the quarantine regulations for that country/show?
Another aspect is that many businesses, like us, have developed a stronger digital presence: websites, e-commerce platforms, etc., which help us achieve our marketing goals and generate sales.
So, the question is actually: Do we really need the trade show anymore?
“Why do I need to spend all that money on, the booth, flights, hotels, etc.? I have already started the process of investing in digital marketing, I’m not going to stop that now. I don’t think I can afford both. My customers can see my new designs online now, there is no need to go through all the hassle of a trade show or visiting them at their offices.“
Consequently, with the pandemic’s “help”, trade shows are now starting to become obsolete if they are not already. That could mean that all the trade and lead searches will happen online – that is the future that is supposedly supposed to occur.
These are all very good points and I would like to address this issue with my humble opinion.
There is no doubt that digital marketing is and will be the dominant marketing platform for anything today and in the future, especially in the Covid-19 era.
Every jewelry company, whether small or large, should (and even must) go in this direction. However, I do not think that in-person meetings are entirely a thing of the past. For sure, they have and will diminish significantly, but I don’t think – or more precisely, I hope – they will not die altogether.
In the end, business is done between people, and I for one don’t want to do business with people I don’t like and definitely not with people I don’t trust.
So, the first point I bring up is the Human factor. It is easiest for me to evaluate a person with whom I am doing business in person – not through a screen, but through a live conversation. Ultimately, people like socializing and turning business meetings into social gatherings over a few drinks – it is what makes the world go round and what creates bonds.
The second point is practicality. In the jewelry industry, many times, a buyer likes to examine the goods before he buys them and see how well the mechanics work (especially in what we do – clasps), how it looks on, how big it actually is, etc. It is notoriously difficult to do this through a screen. I know because I tried. In a zoom meeting with existing clients, I tried to show my products which are as small as 6mm and it just didn’t work… Luckily, my customers trusted me and just took my word on things I explained.
So, to sum up, I would say it is vital to work on marketing through digital platforms – that is the present and future. However, it is wrong to totally disregard personal meetings and trade shows as “support” (as you may call it) to your overall marketing and sales efforts. It’s your service and winning personality that will make the difference.
I really hope that the Hong Kong Show will return soon. I miss seeing everybody!
A world-leading manufacturer of gold pearl jewelry, KONIG Jewelry is renowned for its innovative and elegant custom pearl clasp designs, leading to its reputation as “The Clasp Source”. KONIG is a family-owned business established in 1986 that produces all its jewelry at its headquarters in Israel, using a blend of traditional and modern techniques to deliver uncompromising quality.
Collaborate on a custom order or browse the full catalog of findings and parts, as well as finished jewelry >> https://konigjewelry.com/