In a time when marketing budgets are decreasing, event marketers are struggling to do more with less, while still maintaining high-quality face-to-face interactions. The stakes are higher and participation is more expensive than ever. Nice collateral, a trinket giveaway and a winning smile are no longer enough. You must be more creative in attracting and engaging attendees to effectively compete.
New technologies and techniques are helping innovative marketers to improve event marketing performance and make the most of your presence at trade shows to generate scorching hot leads. Technological advancements have changed the trade show game.
Here are a few strategies on how to improve event marketing performance, take advantage of new technologies, and make the most of trade show leads:
- Plan early and make sure the audience of the show is a good fit— even if an event is in your industry, it may not have the individuals you are looking to target;
- Declutter your booth—give prospects room to roam and breathe, rather than attempting to fit so many physical products in a booth;
- Trade in the gimmicks and tchotchkes with your company logo on them for something relevant to your business—help prospects remember your name AND what you do;
- If you’re giving something away, don’t waste your money on something that will be in the garbage moments later—something a prospect puts on their desk can remind them of your brand daily;
- Interactivity works — so use it for a purpose! Interactive games and touch tables are cool, but since interactivity boosts knowledge retention make sure your prospects are gaining knowledge about YOUR products while interacting, rather than just having fun;
- Integrate more technology into your booths. Use several iPads to demo your products so exhibit staff can demonstrate new products, one-on-one with attendees, anywhere in the booth (or even in the aisles). You’ll see shipping, drayage and storage costs go down due to the ability to now display and demonstrate products without actually bringing them to the show;
- Send requested literature or samples immediately—listen to what interests prospects and follow up with relevant, personalized information quickly, while their memory of your booth is fresh;
- Hold a post-mortem on the show and don’t be afraid to try a different event next year—analyze the quantity and quality of leads, get feedback from sales, and decide if the show is worth a re-investment next year;
- Capturing and curating social media content will connect you with attendees at the event, and leave you with a great way to connect with them post-show.