One of the biggest challenges most trade show and event marketers face is doing more with less. Budgets remain tight and pressure to deliver more ROI continues to mount. Fortunately, a few small investments – of your time and budget dollars – can deliver big results.
To help you prepare for the new year, we’ve assembled the following 7-step guide to help you evaluate and leverage your marketing resources for 2017 and beyond.
Step No. 1: Ask your exhibit services provider: “What’s new?”
As a full-service trade show and event company, we hear about and create new tools, design techniques and technology applications everyday. As we enter the new year, ask your exhibit house rep what the industry is buzzing about now.
Whether it’s a new way to incorporate fabric or motion graphics into an exhibit; interactive technology options such as video walls, café tables and shadow boxes; or cool ways to integrate virtual reality devices into a branded experience – your favorite face-to-face marketing expert can get you up to speed.
Step No. 2: Grade the “health” of your exhibit structure and other assets.
Have you given your exhibit the once-over lately? If you haven’t done so already, schedule time with your exhibit house to determine what needs to be cleaned and/or refurbished for your next round of events. This is also a good time to gauge the life expectancy of your exhibit and related assets, such as accessories.
The good news is you may be able to extend the life of your exhibit with a few simple tactics. These steps may include: Thorough cleaning; fix or replace damaged materials; update graphics; replace or clean flooring; and add new technology or interactive elements.
Bonus Tip: Check out our refurbishment services page for additional information.
Step No. 3: Assess exhibit graphics and signage.
Is your messaging still on point and grabbing attention on the trade show floor, in your corporate lobby and during special events? If you’re still using only traditional flat graphics or signage, ask your sales rep to review the latest options with you.
There are plenty of the new alternatives available in the form of fabric treatments, 3-D printing, accent lighting, vehicle signage, digital motion graphics and more.
Bonus Tip: We work with a variety of graphics materials and treatments. Check out our Graphics & Design section for a little inspiration.
Step No. 4: Enhance your exhibit or branded space with experiential elements.
If you want to outshine the competition and leave your audience with a lasting impression, focus on creating a memorable, interactive experience in your space. Whether your goal is to boost brand recognition or educate prospects about a product or service, your exhibit design team can show you how.
Some options include:
- A green screen where you can capture visitors in photos or videos with fun activities associated with your brand. (Great content for social sharing.)
- Product displays that populate with dynamic messaging based on how the visitor interacts with an LED screen.
- Presentations and product demos in a theater-style space in your booth.
- Live entertainment, gaming stations, concerts, competitions, award ceremonies and more.
- Live-streaming of events and activities to online prospects.
Step No. 5: Evaluate staff readiness to effectively engage prospects.
Most companies tap employees from multiple departments to staff their trade show booths or interact with guests during events. While your sales team may have the edge when it comes to engaging with prospects and clients, most will admit that working a face-to-face event takes practice.
Booth staff training is a must if you hope to optimize the ability of your team to draw attendees in, keep them engaged and understand how to qualify whether the prospect is a viable lead or not.
Bonus Tip: Got 5 minutes? Visit our Quick Tip Videos page and watch our video on how to motivate booth staff.
Step No. 6: Amp up the wattage of your strategic marketing efforts.
Strategic marketing for face-to-face events requires a multi-faceted approach. Have you established a marketing plan that includes pre-show, at-show and post-show initiatives? You should.
Ask your trade show and event marketing services firm how to best utilize direct mail, email, digital advertising, social media marketing and lead management software to keep your brand front and center – before, during and after a trade show or event.
Bonus Tip: Visit our webinars page to learn more about Strategic Marketing for Trade Shows.
Step No. 7: Rethink and restock promotional products.
The next time you need to order a trade show giveaway or promotional product think outside the box. Choose a gift that keeps on giving – an item your guests will keep on their desk or continue to use for months (or years) to come. Don’t waste money on a tchotchke that’s destined for the trash.
Promotional items should also align with and support your marketing plan when possible. Ask your promotional products provider to help you weigh your options.
Bonus Tip: Read this earlier post for tips on how to choose giveaways that leave a lasting impression.Photo Source: www.thinkstock.com