A lot of effort, money and time is put into a show. The cost of a stand space alone can be eye-watering and then, of course, you need an exhibition stand that’s eye-catching. Naturally, this means a lot of energy and focus is put into the marketing of the show.
It’s common, therefore, for businesses to neglect one of the most important elements of pre-show preparation, which is marketing! In fact, curating a well-planned pre and post-show marketing campaign is as important as having a professionally designed and installed exhibition stand that will capture the attention of the trade show audience.
This guide will help you to maximise your results from a show – helping you to get more from your live event, by marketing effectively before it!
CREATE THE CAMPAIGN
When you book a show, you need to have a campaign. This campaign is your message for the show. It could be the launch of a new product or a special offer, or raising awareness.
SET YOUR CAMPAIGN GOALS
What do you want the campaign to deliver? Set numbers and be as quantitative as you can be. Once you have your goals in mind – your main campaign objective – break this down into the life-cycle of the campaign.
What measurable goals do you need to achieve before the event, during the event and after the event? Often, Part 1 (pre-marketing) is to raise awareness and interest – let people know when and where you’re exhibiting. Part 2 (the event) might be the number of leads you capture, and Part 3 (post-event) could be the number of leads you convert/ number of new customers or number of sales.
NAIL YOUR PRE-EVENT MARKETING
- Set your pre-marketing event goals! This will usually always include raising awareness. But if you can deliver a tangible goal, such as pre-booked appointments – then go for it!
- Raise awareness! Use all your channels to promote the event.
- Website – advertise on your website.
- Social Media – set a schedule of posts that make people aware of the show you’re going to and when.
- Email – send all your customers an email.
- Email signatures – have a signature created, that promotes the event.
- Local or national press – if you have a PR retainer, use this channel to get the message out. Or if you think it’s a news-worthy story (e.g. you’re opening a new store or you’re launching a new product) then get in touch with the local press.
- Event organisers’ marketing – discover what marketing media the event organiser has to offer. Some of this could be included free of charge in your package, or a discounted fee. As a bear minimum, make sure you’re on the exhibitor’s section – make the time to ensure your logo is uploaded and your message is on point.
- Pre-book appointments! This is a sure fine way of achieving event success. If you can pre-schedule appointments with your customers and prospects then you are already achieving engagement and building a pipeline ahead of the show.
- Get the most from the day
- Learn from the Clip Exhibition Academy! Hands down, it’s the best way to prepare for your show. Read all the articles to get the best advice the industry has to give, so you deliver the ultimate results from your event or trade show.
- Put thought into your stand! You can read a great article from the Clip Exhibition Academy – how to write a stand brief – which considers all aspect of your stand design and delivery.
- Train your stand staff! On the day of the event, the performance of your campaign is down to your staff. So choose them wisely and brief them meticulously – so they deliver the best version of your event. Here’s a brilliant link to a guide on staff training in our Exhibition Academy.
- Be on time! Seriously, if you get a follow-up message to everyone who visited your stand within the first 48 hours, you’re winning. If you can, do it within 24 hours. Just a ‘it was great to see you at the show’ email can be effective.
- Email and telephone. Don’t just rely on one channel. A more effective follow-up programme to an event should consist of at least two different touch points. Email and telephone work well together.
- Make it personable. When you email, just sending a photo of your team at the stand is a very effective way of reminding the recipient of who you are, what you discussed and it’s also very personable. Try it! If you can, include a message specific to the recipient. For example, if you have gathered data from the lead that says ‘particularly interested in x,y,z’ then reference it in the email.
- Add some value. As part of the follow-up, you should send some added-value content that’s relevant to them. So if they were interested in a particular product or service, send them more information. This might be a link to a video, a landing page, an article or a price list.
- Work to the objective. Your goals should include appointments, orders or quotes. So bear this in mind. Set a strong call to action via the email and telephone – you want to get commitment.
- Measure! Make sure you record and track your event goals, so you can effectively measure a return on investment. The Clip Exhibition Academy has a brilliant guide to setting and measuring ROI – be sure to have a read.
- Gain feedback. So you can improve your next campaign, ask your delegates for feedback. You can do this by collecting the information on the telephone or by sending a questionnaire. If you opt for the questionnaire – keep it brief as people won’t have the time (or incentive) to complete a lengthy questionnaire.
If you have an enquiry or would like to find out more about exhibition stand design and build, please contact Clip firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our friendly and experienced team on +44 (0)117 290 0025!
If you’d like to learn more about planning a successful live event or exhibition, check out our Exhibition Academy.