Equally important are the indicators needed to check you are making progress with your marketing activities to achieve the effect you have defined. Indicators must be carefully thought through so that you don’t let your marketing team “kid you” that you are getting good return on investment (ROI). “I am frightened at the number of companies who still count stand footfall as their key ROI indicator.”
So, having made the decision to take a stand at a trade show I am sure you want to get maximum return for your investment. It is critical therefore, that you don’t see the trade show as an event that occurs between two dates at a specific place and rely on the audience drawn through the doors by the event organisers; hoping they will visit your stand and stop.
You must plan pre-event activities to draw people to your stand by stimulating their interest and then ensure a post-show series of activities to reinforce the message you gave to your visitors whilst informing those who didn’t make it, as to what they missed. Maxine Davenport, Head of Client Services at FortuneWest, gave me good advice and said how important it was to: “Be prepared, do as much as you can before the event including having at least your first round of communications ready to go as a follow up from meetings, even if it’s just a holding email.”
Your pre-event activities should be aimed at creating a need in the targeted audiences to want to come and visit you at the event. Remember, event organisers want as much footfall as possible so there are many ways they can help you with this. The key to engaging with clients, current and future, is value adding content. The more you can give that informs, adds value or stimulates thought, the more likely they are to engage. According to a recent B2B Content Marketing Report produced by Holger Schulze, Group Founder B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn, the top content products for generating engagement are, “Case Studies followed by best practices, then “how to” guides and market trends. Less than 25% of people are interested in product related outputs and even fewer (17%) on competitive comparisons.”
Schulze went on to say, “In addition to being the most effective content subject, case studies are also the most effective content marketing tactic. Blogging moves down to a close second and surprisingly, the number of marketers who mentioned social media as an effective marketing tactic drops significantly from 64 percent in our last survey to 36 percent this year.”