By Projeni Pather
Managing Director, Exposure Marketing
The past two years have presented brands with the opportunity to build relationships online and in social media, but now it’s time to drive sales through physical interaction. 2022 sees the demand for human connection and engagement growing stronger after the throes of self-isolation, quarantine and imposed lockdowns due to COVID19. Brands are now tasked with showing up on the exhibition floor and supporting the mom communities.
With consumers hiding behind screens, brands resorted to emoticons and click rates instead of social cues as key indicators of buying behaviour. But during face-to-face interactions, we look for nonverbal behaviour to reveal the consumer’s intentions; these include facial expressions, hand movements, body posture, and eye gaze. These nonverbal cues empower us with information to guide our interaction, dispel negativity and close the sale.
According to an article in the Neuroscience Behavioural Reviews, “during face-to-face social interactions, people tend to automatically align with, or mimic, their interactor’s facial expressions, vocalisations, postures and other bodily states.” This mimicry leads to a stronger sense of empathy and a feeling of belonging.
Exhibitions like MamaMagic bring together a group of like-minded moms, searching for the best products and services to help them on their parenting journey. These moms have engaged with each other and the brands they want online, but are now desperate to meet each other in person and test-drive the products in real-time. Mothers are a very cognisant group and look to mimic each other in their parenting journey. We believe that the strong synchronisation between mothers attending the MamaMagic Baby Expo inspires a positive buying environment.
The visible excitement and enthusiasm of moms attending the MamaMagic Baby Expo is infectious. Their spirits are high, and they intend to find the best for their babies at the expo. As human science has proven, the shared vision of this community results in imitated behaviour. Moms watching other moms eagerly shopping, testing products, gathering information with exhaustion and glee creates a ripple effect on the community. This behaviour inspires the mom community to embrace the exhibition offering, resulting in increased exhibitor sales.
All face-to-face engagement must be reviewed in a specific context. In the context of exhibitions, exhibitors have the opportunity to embrace non-verbal cues to ensure an increase in sales, brand exposure, and product demonstration, amongst the many objectives achievable. Unlike the online environment, attendees experience brands in an authentic setting at an exhibition. Besides exhibitors reading the customers’ non-verbal cues, attendees get to use the exhibitors’ non-verbal cues to support their purchasing decisions.
Unlike online, there is no place to hide at an exhibition. Numerous non-verbal cues guide customers in their communication with your brand. These include exhibition stand design and arrangement, the choice of lighting, the warmth and attentiveness of exhibitor staff, the feel of the products on your stand, the unique scents that resonate, the flavours that tantalise taste buds and, depending on your product offering, so much more. This stimulation of the customers’ senses reinforces their impressions of the product and the final purchase decision.
We all have so often heard “don’t judge a book by its cover,” but face-to-face interaction leads to intuitive judgments of consumers and brands that are unavoidable and highly useful in closing a sale.