10 tips to manage participation in industry events
It is usual that within the marketing plan of every company there is a calendar of sectoral events that can contribute to the achievement of objectives of brand awareness, traffic to your website, contacts and sales, but I still see exhibitors who leave everything to the last minute assembling the stand when the event has already begun and this has helped me to write the following article.
It seems obvious but it is not sometimes: do not waste your time and that of your colleagues in an event that does not deserve it. You have to distinguish between 3 types of events: those in which you have to reserve a space and participate as an exhibitor, others in which you are simply going to attend to consider the exhibition in its next edition, and finally, the networking events in the that you simply go with the intention of meeting new people and getting leads.
The 10 tips
1. Identify the profile of the audience that will attend the event and create a marketing and communication campaign to let them know the presence of your company in it.
2. If it is a recurring event, ask other professionals in the sector about their experience in previous editions of the same event and what worked well for them. In this case, we have taken the risk of participating in Expo E-commerce for the good impressions we had before the event.
3. Make sure that your existing and potential customers will attend the event by means of personalized invitations a few weeks beforehand and perform telephone follow-up tasks to organize meetings.
4. Consider the logistics aspects of the event with details such as the type of means of transport to use to bring all the materials to the stand, at what time the assembly can be done, how the catering will be organized, etc. Act with military precision to make a reconnaissance of the field before the battle.
5. Know the map of the exhibition well to create a strategy and tactics that allow attracting visitors to your stand by means of branding signage, offering advertising about your company indicating the number of the stand, use of hostesses or performances that allow to create notoriety.
6. Use social media with accounts on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc. to publicize the event and the participation of the company. Provide news of interest in your blog and explain what they will be able to see if they pass through your stand. The demos always help to sell the product, and unless you have a dedicated and bomb-proof Internet connection, it is more practical to record the demo. Do not trust that what you see in the office you will see in the event with hundreds of people posted to Wi-Fi.
7. Create promotions that attract the attention of visitors. For example: we prepared a limited edition of 500 US dollar bills, which act as a $50 bonus for those who visited us at the Expo E-commerce event.
8. Seeks to collaborate with the organizers of the event in aspects related to the various areas and activities that will be carried out. In our case we have looked for a sponsorship of the animation area with the live broadcast of the interviews in that area.
9. Investigate and participate in the candidacies for prizes awarded at the event. They can be organized by the company that manages the event or sometimes belong to associations or media in the sector that use the event as the venue for the awards. In the case of Expo E-commerce, the prizes are organized by them with a jury for most of the categories, and a couple of special prizes that are decided by the online vote of the public.
10. Be different. Communicate your messages with creativity and increase brand awareness with activities that go out of the ordinary. To end the voting period for the E-commerce awards, we launched a series of 5 videos called 21 days getting votes parodying the series 21 days of the television network four. The videos were made in a “low-budget” model with the intention of connecting with the audience in a different way to the rest of the activities developed to promote our candidacy for the awards.
The preparation of an event must be meticulous in order to ensure a high percentage of success, and I hope the advice will give you some idea that you have not considered yet. However, the most difficult job is to evaluate if it really is an event in which your company will be able to justify its participation with an acceptable return on investment.