We all know what it’s like attending exhibitions. There is so much marketing noise it is easy to not see the wood for the trees. How do we as marketeers ensure we capture people’s attention as they stroll past our stand, engage them to stop at the stand, and ensure they remember the brand? No easy feat, right?
Even if we manage the above well, what’s then to stop them forgetting about us as soon as the show is over, and potentially seeking the services of a competitor? This raises the question: ‘is my brand message enduring longer than just the event?’
Let’s look at the show itself first. Is your stand bold and interesting to look at? If it isn’t grabbing your attention, then what are the chances it will grab the attention of your prospects, who are unfamiliar with the brand?
Ok, so now it looks amazing. Is this enough to make you stand out? Potentially on the show day itself, yes. But, is that enough? Will visitors return to their offices the next day and think to search you out on Google or have a look at your social media? Probably not. It’s all about what you do before the event, the day itself, and how you keep people engaged once the show comes to a close. These need to link up and provide visitors with a connection to your brand messaging. Don’t let them forget you. Think of it as three steps to engage: tell them about it, show them, remind them why they liked it.
Let’s explore some key ways to ensure your brand message resonates with delegates, during the show and long after it has finished:
- Have you invited current clients and possible prospects to see you at the event?
- Does your exhibition stand design standout from the crowd?
- Do you have enough knowledgeable staff on the stand, to go out and talk to people and bring them to the stand? Have they had breaks to refresh and ensure they are on ‘top form?’
- Are you using a particular tactic to captivate and engage visitors such as; giveaways, competitions, use of interactive tech, or games?
- Do these tactics tie in with the brand and message to reinforce through activity or action?
- Are you giving out printed marketing collateral to delegates, for them to take away?
- Does the printed marketing literature reinforce the brand message from the day?
- Does the printed collateral complement the exhibition stand design and concept?
- Are you sending an email or direct mail campaign within a week of the show finishing, to reinforce the messaging and thank them for visiting you?
- Does the messaging at all of these touch points tie in well with the brand image and main messaging used across the website, social media, and other marketing initiatives?
- How many new valuable leads did you get from the event?
- How many people have unsubscribed from your emails immediately – after they had given their permission to be contacted at the show?
- Of these valuable leads, how many are your sales team converting?
From these results, analyse what you could do differently next time and put changes in place for an even more successful event next time!
All of this marketing messaging needs to link and go hand in hand via an omnichannel approach to have the best bet of working and being remembered by your target audience.
Remember holding a successful event isn’t a single race, it’s a way of marketing.