It's true; we enjoy chatting with folks and meeting fellow marketers at trade shows, but as a marketing channel it's incredibly ineffective.
Here's why HubSpot won't be exhibiting anymore:
Problem #1: Event marketing yields the the highest cost per lead of all of our marketing. That fact alone is enough to stop exhibiting cold turkey. For comparison, the HubSpot Marketing blog in a single day yields more leads than a two-day trade show, and the costs associated with blogging are much, much less.
Problem #2: It requires a lot of dedicated man-hours for little return. It doesn't make sense to pull a marketing person and a couple sales folks from their regular responsibilities for a handful of leads. Out-of-state events? Add two days for travel. That's a lot of lost time that could be used for better marketing channels.
So what will we do instead?
Speak at events. We believe developing thought leadership through speaking at events is much more valuable than showing off your logo. Our executives and the majority of the marketing team present at conferences and workshops all the time. We want to share knowledge instead of barking our mission statement.
Create more content. Our blog brings us 20% of all our organic leads. Thousands of new people visit our website after viewing our webinars . These are low-cost initiatives that touch more people.
Hold our own events. We still think it's very important to get to know the marketing community face-to-face, and to lose that completely would be a shame. That's why we hold meet-ups at our offices and invite the public to be a part of HubSpot.tv .
Attend events to mingle and learn. Going to events is a great way to keep your knowledge fresh and meet new people . Why not represent your company as an attendee to also get the benefit of the sessions and speakers?
So what do you think? Have other marketing efforts replaced your trade shows?