Be The Buzz At Your Next Event: Strategies For Event Marketing

Considering the power of trade shows and events to generate brand awareness and increase brand loyalty, it’s no wonder businesses are increasingly making the effort to capitalize on them. Events offer a unique opportunity to connect face to face with customers—but with so many booths and displays vying for attention, how do you make sure yours is the one people are talking about and flocking to?

First impressions

We all know the saying about first impressions. As important as they are, though, this is an area where many businesses miss the mark when it comes to events. Event Marketing Strategist Michelle works with the Illustrated Designs, Inc. team to help exhibitors and sponsors convert their event marketing spend into a sound ROI. According to her, if you want to make a great first impression at your event, don’t let the event be your first impression.

“A big mistake I see in the event marketing industry is beginning that customer journey AT the event,” explains Michelle. She advises establishing a connection in advance of the event to maximize interest, impact, and memorability the day of.

“If a handshake at the booth or coffee meeting in between break-out sessions is the second or third touch point, you’ve already established initial rapport and broken the ice leading into the event.”

An experience to remember

Pre-event engagement will pique your audience’s interest, set the tone for what to expect at the event, and keep you top of mind. Once they get there, it’s important that your customers find an experience of your brand that matches the narrative you’ve begun to create, and that draws them into it with a multi-sensory experience.

Leveraging customized theme decor and elements like lighting and positioning of products will enable you to create a space where your audience is immersed in and engaged with your brand.  When planning your event presence, keep these four points in mind:

1. Intention: Every aspect of your themed decor should fit into your overall brand narrative, from tone to color scheme.

2. Interaction: The more your audience interacts with your brand through hands-on displays, hashtags, and social media, the greater and more long-lasting the connection.

3. Immersion: Layered marketing means that your narrative will appear in multiple ways and formats, so the overall brand story has a stronger impact.

4. Innovation: Businesses are getting more and more creative with their approach to events; stand out by embracing cutting edge ideas for event transformation like larger than life props, technology-enhanced interactive displays, and creative usage of event space.

An ongoing journey

Another mistake Michelle sees businesses make is being too eager to close a deal or make a sale at events. “Regardless what you have to say or sell, this is NOT the time to pitch your offerings,” she cautions. “Make people to people connections, and through the customer journey only go in for the sale when appropriate.”

Understanding that your events are not one and done transactions but rather a single point in an ongoing journey will help shape your event marketing strategy–and help transform random visitors to your booth into loyal customers who will want to be part of your story long after the event is over.

With careful planning given to all three stages of an event–before, during, and after–you can create an inviting customer journey that will make your booth the destination of choice at your next trade show, and a key touchpoint in an ongoing relationship between you and your customers.

Illustrated Designs, Inc. has been at the forefront of the marketing industry for 30+ years. From design to execution, their innovative design team develops catalogs, event décor, printed materials, 3-D displays, and more.

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