I recently had the opportunity to attend DistribuTECH in Orlando, the largest annual transmission and distribution event in the world. With hundreds of companies vying for the attention of the nearly 11,000 in attendance, here are a few brief observations that might help marketing efforts at your next tradeshow or any overall branding effort.
- Look for Ways to Differentiate — Walking a tradeshow can be a mystifying experience. It sometimes feels like the movie “Groundhog Day” — you feel like you are seeing the same booth and reading the same messaging over and over and over again. Tradeshows are a great opportunity to differentiate from the competition, but most organizations fail to capitalize. There are a variety of ways to drive booth engagement and lead generation, but having unique customer-focused messaging is key.
- Real Customer Benefits — This is an industry where companies traditionally showcase the features of their business. Now the focus has evolved primarily on product/service benefits. Companies that focused on industry and/or customer benefits during the show, however, really stood out. Customers are looking for the value proposition — solutions that will help solve their individual challenges.
- Using Data to Engage Customers — It was hard to tell if this was an IT conference or a show targeting utilities. Software vendors like Oracle were ever-present — an indication of how the management and analysis of (customer) data remains a hot topic. The latest focus seems to be on how that customer data can be used for new revenue sources. Utilities have a great opportunity to utilize data to understand where the opportunity is for engaging customers and driving revenue beyond the meter.
If utilities and others companies attending trade shows look for ways to differentiate, offer real customer benefit messaging and use data to figure out where to engage customers, you’ll have a successful DistribuTECH next year.
I’ll see you in San Diego!