Trade shows focusing on B2B eCommerce provide valuable opportunities to learn from peers and competitors, discover new products and solutions, and to be a brand advocate for your company and yourself. B2B is not B2C, and this year, trade shows are delivering strong content tailored to the needs of B2B sellers.
Check out Avionos’ recommendations to help get the most out of your trade show experience this summer.
- B2B Online is the leading tradeshow for B2B eCommerce, solely focused on manufacturing and distribution, with compelling content delivered primarily by practitioners. For B2B companies just starting with B2B eCommerce, B2B Online is the best show to learn the basics, to network with B2B peers, and to find vendors that solve the complex needs of B2B sellers. For B2B companies looking to scale already successful B2B eCommerce efforts, B2B Online provides opportunities to learn from leading brands.
- Internet Retailer Conference and Expo (IRCE) is the leading trade show for B2C eCommerce, but has been rapidly expanding the learning tracks and vendor presence for B2B eCommerce. For B2B companies seeking to launch a direct to consumer (D2C) offering, IRCE provides opportunities to learn from companies that have successfully addressed challenges such as channel conflict and competing with Amazon. Many of the D2C learning sessions for analytics, search, and customer service are applicable to B2B.
Picking the Right Sessions
Learning sessions provide real world examples of how companies navigate the complexity of B2B eCommerce. At B2B Online, this year’s focus is the B2B customer journey from activation to engagement to retention. For B2B sellers just starting with eCommerce, consider sessions led by Hisco and Coca-Cola regarding what to expect during a digital transformation. For B2B sellers already experienced in B2B eCommerce, sessions focused on content optimization and personalization can help you address specific needs.
Navigating the Trade Show Floor
The trade show floor can be overwhelming if you don’t have a list of identified needs and potential vendors. Creating a prioritized list of needs that “must be solved” vs. “nice to have” vs. “maybe in 5 years” will help you leave the show with information that you can apply to your business rather than a bag of desk toys. Be selective in allowing your badge to be scanned for products and services that are not on your prioritized list to minimize the post-show flood of emails and sales calls.
Maximizing Your Investment
Meetings with potential vendors should be scheduled in advance if possible. Most vendors appreciate the opportunity to prepare a brief demonstration tailored to your needs and to meet at a specific time. Scheduling a meeting demonstrates to the vendor that you want to engage with purpose and enables you to receive focused attention to your needs. If you are a current customer of a vendor, be sure to stop at your vendor’s booth to share your appreciation of the partnership. Vendors with a strong focus on customer outcomes love to have current customers engaging with prospects.
Networking events are more than a free meal and can provide significant value to your business by connecting you with vendors and peers that have solved problems that you are experiencing. Introduce yourself to someone new and ask, “Where are you in the B2B eCommerce journey?” Then share where you are in the journey and explore if you can help each other. Avionos is hosting an event during B2B Online with Adobe and CloudCraze that facilitates these conversations. Contact us to learn more about the event.
The Avionos vision includes enabling commerce in the cloud for every B2B business, making enablement and operation of online commerce easier and with more predictable and better outcomes. Our team provides leadership in eCommerce strategy, platform implementation, and digital channel operations; and Avionos partners with leading cloud vendors such as Salesforce, Adobe, CloudCraze, Acquia, CommerceTools, and others to deliver meaningful business results.