You arrive at the exhibition. With the excitement of a kid at Christmas, you set up your company’s stall. Everything is going to plan. But then you look around at all the competing exhibitors brimming with excitable customers. Suddenly you’re not smiling anymore. When it comes to event marketing, this is everyone’s nightmare.  However, certain actions like researching event marketing ideas can pay off. This can make your event more memorable for the customer. So, let’s dig into this some more!

Where to start?

Planning an event can be stressful and at times must feel like when you were planning your wedding day. But great organisation pays off. Firstly, the main goal for the majority exhibitors is to get people to remember you. While simultaneously encouraging people to spread positive word-of-mouth. With the end goal leading to increased sales.

It’s very easy to be ignored and become lost in the crowd at these events. In order to stand out, you need to have a clear goal of what you plan on achieving.  For example, are you aiming to create brand awareness or perhaps launch a new product line? To measure your success you need to have a tangible goal in place. There’s no point attending an event where your main goal is to launch a new product and your target audience isn’t even going to be there.

Prior to any event, marketing research always pays off. Brainstorm event marketing ideas for the exhibition and details about the event. It’s not just the early bird who catches the worm but the bird who’s researched areas where all these worms usually frequent. Look at what type of audience will be attending the event.

Creating an Email Database

You can use your market research to help you find out who is attending the event. Knowing the audience makes it easier to determine if this event is worth investing in. It can even help you decide on what type of marketing strategy you should use. Before attending the event, ask the event organisers for an email list of all attendees. Once you acquire this, you can develop a pre-event email marketing campaign.

In this email, tell people why they shouldn’t miss the event. Especially, why they should visit your stall in particular. This can help with increasing the number of people attending the event. The recipients may also choose to share your email with their friends/colleagues. You’ll need to remind people how attending your exhibition can help their business achieve specified goals and objectives. It will also remind people to find your business on the day.

Including a visual testimonial can help with building credibility about your company. Even, offering some sort of incentive is also always a good idea. And don’t forget to email your current customers in the general area where the event is taking place. Perhaps there is something they can gain from visiting your stall such as seeing a new product, acquiring new knowledge or making a new purchase.

Use Website Landing Pages

When it comes to event marketing, always utilise your company’s best asset – your own website. A website can serve as an added vehicle of communication informing fans and new customers about what’s happening with the business. Promoting the event on your website creates awareness showing them why they can’t afford to miss you at the event.

The company blog serves as a great way to inform customers about upcoming events and news. Let them know exactly why they need to call and what they’ll get in return. For example get a free 10% discount on business collateral on the day or a free guide with lots useful tips. Include the top five reasons why they need to attend the event.  Have a link to the event organiser’s registration page to make it easy for them to register. This can even help the SEO of your own site.

Social Media Promotion

Social media has created a new platform for businesses to promote any event. There is a huge amount of different tools to choose. From live broadcasting to creating online event invitations, the opportunities are endless.

However, creating a unique event hashtag is one of my favourite social media event marketing tricks. You should use it across all marketing communications. The reason I adore them so much is due to their phenomenal viral aspect. They will make it easy for people to discover your event. But they also allow you to see exactly what people are saying. Opportunities to track your reach are also available using tools such as Topsy. After creating it, make sure you include it in all your marketing material.

As I previously mentioned, you can now create online event invitations. Consider creating an event page on your Facebook page. Most people log into their Facebook page daily. This will allow attendees to keep up to date with the event. If the organisers already have an event page, consider regularly posting on it. You can share news, announcements, and promo codes. Or include links to your website’s event landing page. Why not even network with other trade exhibitors and attendees.

Offline Event Marketing Ideas

You cannot afford to forget the importance of traditional offline marketing. This forms part of your promotional mix. Sending out a press release about your event is a great way to gain media attention. While simultaneously capturing the attention of the audience demographics that aren’t online.

On the day, there is going to be loads of companies looking to grab attention and embed their brand in people’s memory. You don’t want all your prior marketing communications going to waste. A good way is to consider sponsoring the event organisers coffee cups on the day. So when people are in need of their caffeine fix, they will see your company logo and branding. This encourages them to find you and improves brand visibility. And remember to incorporate your event hashtag.

You may consider handing out goody bags on the day, including branded pens, business cards, flyers and water bottles. Hand out promotional material that people are more likely to use daily. It will help keep your company first of mind when they need your type of product or service. It similarly has the power to create word-of-mouth.

Another, great idea to get people to visit your business is having home baked cookies, buns, etc. Giveaways like this encourage people to physically come over and talk to you. However, this may lead to unprofitable leads coming over, who have more interest in the food than your business.  If they do decide to see what you have to offer, ensure you have an email newsletter sign up sheet to capture any leads on the day.

Conclusion

I hope by now you’re aware of everything you need to think about the next time you plan on attending another event. It really boils down to researching effective event marketing ideas and investigating if the event is the best fit for your business. Let’s not forget to make sure you follow-up with any prospects by sending a follow-up email after the event.

Careful planning before, during and after the event ensures you get maximum exposure. It takes hard work, persistence, and motivation to make your event marketing a success. But if done correctly, it can be the difference between gaining no new customers to acquiring a hundred new customers. If you need marketing assistance then get in touch with our team.