In our hyper-technological world, it’s easy to forget there are plenty of times B2B companies can market to prospects face-to-face. Trade show season is an opportune time to capture an attentive audience — and have some fun.
How to make it relevant:
1. Target with messages your audience wants to hear. Trade shows are often when companies make big announcements and when major awards are presented. Let’s face it — not everyone can be Apple and have entire conferences dedicated to unveiling new features and functionality. B2B marketing is going to be more about benefits and the WIIFM. Build your event message around your audience, not your announcement.
2. Make the event part of an overall campaign. Event marketing falls flat when your marketing is only focused on the event itself. Instead, focus on how to drive excitement beforehand and gain traction afterward.
3. Measure responses throughout the campaign. When you can get real-time metrics on social responses, downloads, and visits, why wait until the end of the campaign to run analytics? Capture that data early and often. It could inform ways you tweak your message before you hit the expo floor.
How to make it memorable:
4. Give ’em what they want. Trade shows might have a lot of educational value for attendees, but they also give them a chance to let their hair down. Some attendees even get a little crazy. You don’t have to shout, “Free booze!” from the mountaintops, but you can find a hook that’s compelling. Everything from charging stations to nap pods can help give your audience something they need while they’re at the event.
5. Add a little something extra. Don’t just show up with a booth. You don’t have to throw a record-breaking party, but consider a VIP dinner or a prospect lunch. Even catching a local baseball game or hosting a trip to a major landmark will make your presence at the show memorable. It requires some pre-planning, but adding a high-touch experience can go a long way.
6. Remind your audience later. Take pictures, capture video, and share the excitement after the event is over. You can even conduct a survey on-site and share the results in a report a few weeks later. Then you can invite attendees to your next event or even let them know when you’ll be in their city.