Business to business (B2B) platforms are undergoing a transformation process in their efforts to digitize trade shows. Pre-pandemic days, these platforms existed mostly in physical form and occasionally through phone and email communications. Now, they are converting to hybrid, containing both physical and virtual communication. It’s safe to say that the changes were caused by the technological growth of past decades. Although these changes were forced, the B2B platforms benefited greatly from them. In this transition period, platforms maintain a part of their services (in physical form) and utilize online sources to improve their digital services. The enhancement of existing services by remodeling them into digital services and the creation of new services can be done in numerous ways.
In this article, we have identified six important ways to digitize B2B communications:
Digitize trade shows communications with Customizable searches
Nowadays, we cannot imagine a life without the internet. Everything we need and want is one click away. With the ever-growing amount of information, we come across a lot of irrelevant data. Therefore, a key point for businesses is to be able to search for information in a reliable way. Moreover, it is important for them to be able to set variables for their searches. For example, they would want to search for a specific type of company within a niche industry which offers some specific products or services. This issue is already being addressed by B2B sourcing platforms such as AladdinB2B. With this platform, businesses are able to make customizable searches by determining the specific characteristics they are looking for.
Fast acquired and reliable information
Another pivotal point in digitizing B2B communications is to ensure the search results are not only fast but also reliable. We live in a world where one simple search yields millions of results. Thus, making it harder to identify between what is a scam and what is real data. Besides customizable searching, businesses want to be sure that the information they are receiving is legitimate. There are already B2B platforms that provide this service and guarantee correct detailed information.
Online networking and scheduling
In all industries, good communication is essential for success. This is especially valid for businesses dealing with other businesses. Avoiding miscommunications and having good work relations is imperative for business development. Thus, it is crucial to have access to a wider network. This is where services provided by B2B platforms come handy. They usually have access to local, regional and international networks across many industries. Using their services, the businesses can find like-minded potential partners and easily expand their businesses globally. Moreover, they can also search for multiple diverse cooperators and schedule meetings with them. For example, the B2B platform AladdinB2B uses a matchmaking process based on the user specifications. The user (business) logs into the platform and specifies the ideal company they want to cooperate with. The platform then automatically finds suitable matches for them. The user gets all the information and decides if they want to meet with any of them and requests a meeting with them. If the other company accepts the invitation, a meeting is arranged. On top of that, in case the user has many meetings, the platform also coordinates their scheduling making sure to avoid conflicting schedules.
Event organizing facilitation
In a business to business model, events are paramount for communications and connections. No matter if the events are location based or virtual ones, a lot of effort is put into organizing them. One needs to secure an easy accessible venue or online platform, hire the right people and invite many businesses. On top of that, they need to have a good marketing strategy in order to promote the event. This increases costs in time, marketing and human resources. The B2B platforms found a solution to this as well. They are a great help to businesses in the organization of these events. They handle the event promotion, oversee how many people are attending and check if they have all the necessary tools for the event. Moreover, using their scheduling tools, they know exactly what is happening at any point in time and can consequently coordinate all the meetings. All of this helps organizers have a problem-free event while reducing costs.
Monitoring and outcome reports
Business owners like to be in control of all things happening in their companies at all times. However, in large companies that could be a daunting mission. Between many meetings, dealing with different department heads and coordinating these departments, it is easy to miss some things. Therefore, using a B2B platform which is centralized will make this task much easier. There, business owners can see all the meetings that are carried out, what was discussed and the outcomes. Moreover, with the reporting feature, they can easily coordinate the departments, see statistics and calculate the return of investments. Furthermore, they can see what meetings were carried out in external events such as exhibitions, fairs, pavilions, and what determine new, feasible collaboration opportunities.
Post-event continuous communication
Many times in events, there are productive meetings which help in social interaction and in forging new connections. However, not all of the meetings produce a collaboration necessarily. Sometimes, a collaboration does not happen because one business does not need a certain product at the present time. The problem is that once the need for that product arrives, the connection is already lost. In order to avoid such circumstances, B2B offers great digital communication tools. These tools track the meetings and provide follow up alerts or notifications. As such, they enable continuous communication. If in the future the business does need the product, they can immediately find the contact information and initiate a conversation. This then can lead to a business transaction and a great partnership.
Granted, in an ever-changing competitive market B2B communications are challenging. However, we can argue that these communications are getting easier in the digital world, especially with the help of B2B sourcing platforms. Therefore, the platforms that already employ these six functions in their digital service will be a vital asset to the businesses in the future.