Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
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Give Your Audience an Experience That They Will Remember!



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I felt a breath of fresh air recently. I walked into a meeting with a new client and they didn’t want to talk about a tradeshow… they wanted to talk about an experience for their attendees that happened to be at a tradeshow. I cannot tell you how refreshing it was to be a part of a conversation about event marketing. This is not a new idea. In fact, it’s something that many of my colleagues and I preach all the time.

When you start planning your event marketing, there are many basic questions you should ask yourself:

  1. Who is our target audience?
  2. What products are we promoting?
  3. What is our budget?
  4. Who internally needs to be included in this process?

Then naturally you will start digging in deeper and ask questions such as:

  1. What are our goals and objectives?
  2. What shows make the most sense to attend that our target audience attends and/or what events should we host?
  3. What is our message? Does it tell them immediately what we provide?
  4. Who will take ownership of each piece of the plan?

Then you get to one of the most important and critical stages…. Are you going to do just set up a booth and exhibit, or will you design an integrated experience that will lead your audience to the next stage in the sales journey?

I hear all too often from senior marketers, that tradeshows are a waste of money. This is the point where all of that can be changed.

When you visit a booth, do you remember the ones that just happened to be there promoting a product? Or do you remember and ENGAGE with the ones that provided you with an experience?

A couple of years ago I worked with a client who had been doing the first. Senior management did not think highly of trade shows as an effective use of their budget. They were just there promoting their product. The booth had no experience to it. They were static and just sat there. We started fresh and made the product the hero by designing a booth from scratch where we told the brand story with the products. We tied them together to create a natural progression from one to another that made it easier for the sales people to cross sell by walking the attendee through the full product line while making it fun and entertaining for the attendee. We integrated gamification that taught the attendees about the products along with digital signage that was simple yet gave all the relevant info that the sales people could need to show the attendee why using their product would provide real value. We also implemented a new lead capture system to allow for easier follow up.

The post show meeting went incredibly well. Orders placed on the show floor and post show were substantially higher than in years past and the budget for the next year was increased.

I cannot tell you what that experience could be for your brand and suggest you sit down with your team and your exhibit vendor or agency to design one. It may make all the difference when going over the ROI on your tradeshow spend at year end and a great gauge for moving forward.

© 2014 by David Brull