Once you’ve booked your exhibition slot you might think it’s time to sit back and relax until show day, realistically however your work is only just beginning. If you want to maximise your impact and return on investment then a strong pre-event marketing strategy is a must have.
Research shows that on average 76% of trade show attendees arrive with a fixed agenda, this means they have a plan on who they want to visit, what they want to accomplish and when. Without reaching out to attendees before your exhibition you could be missing out on a lot of potential visitors, simply because they don’t know you’re there and haven’t allotted time to see you.
Pre-booking appointments with attendees also allows you to predict busy periods during the day so you can prepare. Not all appointments will be adhered to however even a loose schedule will help the day run smoothly.
Following our guide on pre-exhibition marketing will help you to boost your exhibition presence and bring you a greater return on investment.
Objectives and Marketing Opportunities
Your pre-exhibition marketing campaign should always keep three objectives in mind, these are:
- Attract attendees to your stand
- Make sure your products or services are memorable
- Engage and interact with attendees
As an exhibitor you will often be able to list yourself on the event organisers website, this should be done as soon as possible and should include as much information on who you are and what you do as possible. This allows attendees to see that you will be there and if your business interests them there is a good chance that they will take the time to visit you.
You should also be making use of all marketing opportunities available to you, such as:
- Email marketing campaigns
- Social media campaigns
- Website promotion
- PR Opportunities (e.g. Press releases to local media)
- Paid Advertising (if it fits into your budget)
Engaging Potential Attendees
If you have a mailing list use this to your advantage, you have the means to contact hundreds if not thousands of people who are interested in your business. Invite them to visit you and give them a reason to, such as a new product launching that they may be interested in. The more information you have for people in your mailing list the better, first and last names used in the subject line give the email a more personal touch.
Social media is also a great way to let people know you’re exhibiting at little to no cost and chances are you’re followers are interested in what you are doing. Check to see if the event organisers have social media accounts and start promoting your appearance at the event there too, if they have their own hashtags (#) incorporate them into your marketing too. A consistent hashtag can make you easier to find and allows people to look through your older posts using the same tag.
Please read our article “How to use social media to improve your exhibition presence” for more information.
Your website is perhaps your ultimate marketing tool. During the lead up to your exhibition you can create various banners and promotional graphics relating to the event that visitors to the site will see. If your website visitors have a pleasant experience they may take an interest in your upcoming exhibition and visit you. Another great way to promote your appearance at the event is to write relevant blog posts and articles and then post them on your website, you can link to these from social media for added exposure.
Pre-booking Appointments & Press Releases
As most exhibition attendees organise appointments with who they want to visit the most it is important that you reach out to key people and industry influencers as early as possible to make sure you secure a time to meet them. Industry influencers are people who are trustworthy and have a broad online presence such as a large following on their blog or social media accounts. The reason you want to aim to meet influencers is because they are the people most likely to post publically about their experience with your business.
Before the event research local journalists who often cover events, this can be done by searching for similar events in local news websites. Create a well written press release and then contact the journalist. You can also offer them an invitation to the event where they can conduct interviews with speakers relevant you or you can provide them with a guest post for their website or blog relating to the event for their website. This is a great way to generate some pre-event press that will potentially boost the amount of visitors you receive.
We hope this guide helps you to improve your pre-event marketing and also increase the amount of visitors you receive at your next exhibition. At XL Displays we provide pop up displays and custom built exhibition stands.
Please contact us or call our sales team on 01733 511030 for more information.