Trade shows sometimes feel like the county fairs of marketing. They're a good old-fashioned way to bring visibility to your brand, meet and greet people and give away tons of free stuff in hopes of staying top of mind for your prospects.
But are they really worth the exhibition fee and the time and energy it takes to man the booth? For many companies, this question comes up for debate each time the annual invitation arrives.
It's tempting to compare the potential reach of a trade show against the potential reach of a digital inbound marketing campaign and wonder if trade shows are still relevant. As a leading provider of workflow management and outsource revenue cycle services discovered, they absolutely can be—especially when integrated with inbound marketing efforts.
Avadyne Health specializes in revenue cycle workflow software and outsource services that enable more than 275 hospitals and healthcare systems across the country to collect payments from patients in a timely manner. In addition to making the financial side of health care smoother and more transparent for patients, these services ultimately accelerate and increase cash for hospitals.
The company recently enlisted the help of Kuno Creative to redesign its website so it would be optimized for search, conversions and lead nurturing. That included adding calls to action relevant to those responsible for revenue cycle management and financial operations, including downloadable guides and a patient financial experience assessment.
Then it was time for the annual Healthcare Financial Management Association's annual conference and expo in Las Vegas. Avadyne's Director of Demand Generation Marketing, Christine Hanson-Ehlinger, wanted the company's booth to be as attention-grabbing as a Las Vegas attraction while also conveying a serious value proposition: Increasing cash for hospitals.
Hanson-Ehlinger liked the concept of a cash grab where attendees could sign up for a chance to collect as much cash as possible in twenty seconds. She worked with the Kuno design team to create floor graphics and signage to direct conference attendees to the Cash Grab. The Kuno team helped create a landing page form that attendees filled out from a tablet. This allowed Avadyne to collect information to further qualify potential leads.
In addition to asking prospects for their company, job title and role, the landing page asked three qualifying questions.
The questions were designed to help Avadyne's sales team prioritize whom to contact. This gave the company a clear direction following the trade show, eliminating sorting through a pile of business cards, and allowed for future campaign workflows.
In total, Avadyne collected 90 leads from the conference, 48 of whom they determined to be prospects.
"We're very pleased with the results," Hanson-Ehlinger said. "It got us great exposure and visibility at the conference. While being an attention magnet, it also gave us a better way to qualify show leads."
In the future, Hanson-Ehlinger plans to use a additional strategies for nurturing prospects after the show. Depending on their self-identified needs (indicated by their form submission), Avadyne will follow up with a series of content pieces and email communications designed to address those challenges. Now that information on each prospect is stored within HubSpot and integrated with Avadyne's CRM, the sales team can see them progress through the buyer's journey. They will know when a prospect has visited a specific page on the Avadyne website, opened a follow-up email or downloaded a piece of content.
Using HubSpot landing pages to facilitate in-person signups at a trade show is one of many ways Avadyne is integrating traditional marketing with inbound efforts. This mindset isn't just a smart idea for trade shows.
It's a matter of rethinking traditional activities—or doing outbound the inbound way.
It's a philosophy that has become increasingly important as traditional paid efforts miss the mark and the online world becomes saturated with "free" content that needs paid promotion to get noticed. Just as traditional marketing can be amplified with an inbound strategy, inbound marketing can benefit tremendously from paid advertising. To learn more about how to amp up your marketing with targeted and more effective advertising, check out our latest guide, The New Demand Generation: Personas, Personalization & Programmatic Marketing.