How will attendees and clients know your exhibiting?
Let them know with pre-exhibiting marketing tactics.
Making contact with attendees and clients before an exhibition is the single most important moment to connect. Pre-exhibition marketing can make or break your exhibition experience.
People need to know you are at the show so they know to look out for you and easily recognise your brand. Make them interested in your brand before they even walk in the exhibition hall.
There are a multitude of tactics your brand could integrate into its pre-exhibition marketing strategy, this article discusses some of the most popular and commonly used tactics.
Email marketing is the most popular pre-show marketing channels because of its ability to reach a lot of targeted people at little to no cost.
In our previous post (READ HERE) we discussed how to use and segment your in-house database for pre-exhibition marketing. This segmentation is vital for an effective email campaign.
Your segmenting will differ depending on your brand and the show you are attending. The more you drill into your database and create targeted groups to send customised emails towards, the better results you will achieve.
When you have selected targeted groups make sure you tailor the email toward that specific demographic.
- Use key words that these contacts would use
- Provide them with a tailored incentive to attend the show
- Tell them what product or service you are highlighting at the exhibition and how it relates to their needs and wants
- Add personalised contact information
ALSO, consider adding a customised email signature of every employee in the company. Email signatures are an effective way to communicate to multiple clients and potential clients about your participation in the event. They act as a great reminder tool and are frequently used by both small and large corporations.
Email signatures can be modified with a banner displaying your exhibition participation and stand number etc.
Harness the power of social media.
When used correctly in your pre-exhibition marketing strategy social media can help attract people to your stand.
97% of marketers are using social media to reach their audiences, so why not engage your audience to help your exhibition experience, and as an added bonus it is likely to boost your social following at the same time.
Not only are your target market on social media, but there’s a good chance that many of them are checking these sites every day.
To make the most of social media in your pre-exhibiting marketing strategy try some of these tactics:
- Use the official exhibition hashtag
- Follow the official exhibition hashtag and interact with people using it
- Interact with people who are actively talking about the exhibition
- Create your own hashtag and use it in all show promotions
- Follow other business who are exhibiting
- Let people know you are attending the show
- Post regular updates about your participation in the exhibition, including stand number, special events, guests speakers, offers, teasers etc
- Connect with your LinkedIn audience and invite them to attend the exhibition
- Create a Facebook event page for the exhibition
Take full advantage of your own website.
There are unlimited options on how you can use your website to help in your pre-exhibition marketing. This could be as simple as adding a banner with the show details on your home page telling website visitors you will be at the show, or even including a Pop-Up box alerting them to your exhibition plans.
One of the most effective ways to use your website is to create a dedicated landing page for your exhibition participation. This page will be beneficial in a number of ways.
- Details: This page can list everything an attendee would like to know about your exhibition stand, consolidate information in one place on your site so that it is easy for attendees to find. Include floor plans, stand number, opening times, special events and exclusive promotions.
- Tracking: Having a dedicated page will allow you to keep track of how many people are taking an interest in your business attending the exhibition. It will also be able to show where the traffic is coming from.
- Schedule appointments: Including a booking portal on this page allows attendees to schedule a time to meet you on your stand for a private meeting or product demonstration.
- SEO: A dedicated landing page will also help increase your website SEO.
Public relations efforts prior to an exhibition are often over looked and people often view this as part of the exhibition organiser role. However, if done correctly, public relations can help your brand enhance qualified leads, augment brand presence and strengthen your brand reputation.
One of the biggest challenges with PR is finding the right person to pitch your ideas to. Do your research and find out who is covering stories similar to what your going to provide them and take advantage of any industry ties your business may have formed.
When you have found the correct contact, you must have a concise media release. It has to be newsworthy and written as such. This is not a sales pitch.
State who, what, where, when, why and how all in the first paragraph. After the introduction you can go into detail about your exhibition special promotions, events, product launches etc.
Make sure you include:
- “For Immediate Release” or similar at the very top or the media release
- A strong heading
- Date of release
- Contact details (company and person to contact for more information)
REMEMBER: These releases need to go out 3-4 months prior to the exhibition. Publications have a long lead time.
Options are endless for where you can advertise your participation in the upcoming exhibition. To make sure you select the right advertising avenues you must do your research.
Some of the most common places for exhibition advertising would include:
- Trade publications
- Online trade websites
- Exhibition brochures
- Advertising specialities in show bags
- Local Newspapers (If the show is location specific and B2C)
One of the biggest benefits from advertising is the opportunity to use the advertising spend as leverage for your public relations efforts. When booking an advertising spot inquire to see if you may be able to get a ‘free’ editorial feature or online bonuses.