Vital Marketing At Trade Shows
If you follow my blog with any regularity you’ve probably noticed a number of posts about industry trade and consumer shows. They take a good deal of resources however they offer us some amazing opportunities to reach people we’d never reach any other way.
We participate in two types of shows: Consumer shows for the general public and trade shows for travel industry professionals such as tour operators, meeting & event planners and companies that package tour products.
The consumer shows for the general public include regional events such as the Bay Area Travel and Adventure Show, the LA Times Travel and Adventure Show and the State Fair in Sacramento each summer. These shows allow us to talk with literally thousands of consumers and get our Vacation Planner into their hands. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to reach a lot of people directly and with so many vacations options to choose from, it puts us as a top of mind choice. The time and cost of mailing guides to people (a surprisingly large number still prefer paper to online) is considerably greater making consumer shows a cost-effective way to get the message out.
The trade shows allow us to contact people who can bring hundreds if not thousands of visitors to the area. In many cases, we partner with other industry organizations to reduce the cost of participation for all of us. Partners include regional associations, local hotels and Visit California – the state’s tourism marketing organization. These shows include major international and national events, specialized industry shows targeted to specific markets such as meeting/event planners, outdoor travel media and a variety of others.
Despite today’s high-tech marketing tools, personal relationships and direct contact with potential visitors and “wholesale” buyers is still vital in attracting people to our area. In one-to-one situations we can address specific buyer interests, expose people to all that our area has to offer and attract the attention of buyers who may never find us online due to the overwhelming amount of information there.
Trade and consumers show allow us to reach a lot of people in a short period of time making them cost effective and one of our best tools to entice visitors to Tuolumne County and the surrounding area.