B2B EVENT Marketing

How a triad targeting approach won quality exhibitor leads for an in-person event returning post-Covid Case Study

Triad targeting approach


How a triad targeting approach won quality exhibitor leads for an in-person event returning post-Covid

The quality of the exhibitors that we attracted this year is what set us apart. Because of this the strategy implemented by We Market Events for Automechanika Johannesburg will be replicated for Automechanika Frankfurt.” – Neil

Automechanika Johannesburg is one of the most successful and biggest automotive expos in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa. With 2019’s impressive turnout, they were ready to make an even bigger splash in 2020.


Take a wild guess at what happened next…

Yup. COVID-19 came in like a wrecking ball and left trade show organisers with the next-to-impossible task of creating excitement and connection through a screen.

Now, if you’re in the technology industry, you can “go virtual” and have a pretty good experience. But when it comes to automotive aftermarket, manufacturing and supply chain — it’s a touch-and-feel industry. The only way to make the right sales decision here is to meet the product experts in person, hold the car parts in your hands, and engage in the experience of what it takes to build a vehicle that’ll take you to extraordinary places.

Ucon sums it up perfectly in this article: “the fact that you cannot be there in person means you won’t be able to display your products, and your visitors will not be able to see the real thing in person (it’s the same as looking at a digital ad and how likely are you willing to invest based on that?)”

With the expo being cancelled for two years in a row, the team knew they needed a phenomenally creative strategy to make 2022 the most memorable year yet. But how?


The only way we could make this happen was to focus on lead quality over lead quantity. If we’re going virtual, we better focus on a truly memorable experience for the highest quality leads as opposed to an average experience slapped online for thousands of people. We’d rather have fewer big names like BMW and Avis Fleet (which we got, by the way😉) than hundreds from a second-hand car parts Facebook group.

The only way this would work would be through precision LinkedIn targeting. Because all good things come in threes, we decided on a triad approach — we targeted companies, industries and LinkedIn groups. That way, we covered all our bases to make sure we got the best of the best.

Great, so we have the leads but how do we get them to pitch? One word – messaging.

If we know anything about automotive industry experts, it’s that they love talking, interacting and making connections — it’s part of their DNA. They’ve been itching to get back out there and interact on a personal level. Knowing this, we knew we had to appeal to this emotion. This paired with persuasive writing techniques, and we had the perfect combination 💪

As CXL guru Peep Laja says — “Emotions are very important for choosing. In fact, even with what we believe are logical decisions, the very point of choice is arguably always based on emotion.”

The Results

The emotional messaging coupled with the triad targeting approach led to a total of 19, 041 impressions, 171 clicks and 22 high-quality exhibitor leads at just $33 per lead!

Overall, an impressive comeback for the team 🥇

P.S. If you’re a cynic when it comes to emotional B2B marketing, here’s your sign to adjust your thinking!