You may be organizing an in-house event, trade fair or seminar as part of your current Marketing Plan. Some of you may be participating in a trade show or convention as an exhibitor, sponsor or partner in the months to come. If so, tap into some great advice on how to maximize your presence and effectiveness in these face-to-face marketing opportunities. Read on to pick up on some key event tools out there.
WHY: Include Events in your Marketing Mix?
- They deliver something no online experience can quite match up to: real in-the-flesh face-to-face meetings and marketing opportunities.
- Events are multi dimensional, tactile and real-time forms of Experiential Marketing: the best way to let people sample your products and experience what you do in person.
- Events give you space for inspiration and chance collaborations. When Online, you are deliberately looking and researching. In Real-world events, inspiration will hit you in the face even when you are not looking for or don’t know what you’re looking for.
- Not convinced? Here’s: 5 Reasons You Need To Meet In Person
HOW: To Get Started.
Most regions and countries have homegrown resources to help them. My favourites include:
- Facetime: a non-for-profit outfit from the UK providing free down-loadable PDF guides, DVDs and e learning CDs that guide you through event management decisions. Starting with: The Journey of a Virgin Exhibitor
- TSNN.com a prominent events directory and industry news portal from the US offering tools and resources to business people working on trade events with the latest industry tips. Here is a taster: How to become a Tradeshow G.E.N.I.U.S.
- MeetinIreland.com in Ireland is the kind of site you should find locally in most countries, providing easy to find resources for international & local event planners, incentive travel, DMCs and conference organisers. A handy resource for locating venues and local information. I especially like the resources page and conference checklist: Step-by-step planning schedule to keep you on top of your conference management.
WHAT: Event Intelligence You Can Tap Into
The growing cross pollination between offline and online event marketing / on-site activity is a separate bible in itself. There are experts in the field that can help you get navigate through the cutting edge event planning technologies, applications or social media practices in the events sector.
- Event Manager Blog‘s Julius Solaris is my personal Fave, here is a taster: Using Social Media at Trade Shows [Infographic]
- Events Guru UK provides events technology advice such as Heidi Wilkiams’: Using Google Events as Part of Your Event Strategy?
- Small Business Marketing Blog, Ready2Spark does good cross over posts for marketers and event planners alike. For Example: QR Codes for Events – Do they Deserve the Hype
- Write on Track gives some insight on the relevance of Twitter to events & conferences a several posts including: How to Tweet at Conferences
People who need People…
Presentations and people skills are essential to maximising your presence at events. There are some coaching experts online with key insights on getting your message across.
- Smart Solutions does a great blog on how to work the room in : Top Networking Skill – Rapport
- The Reluctant Speakers Club is a great go-to blog, a veritable font of information on how to develop your speaking and presentation skills. Maximizing your impact in that next speaking engagement with : Don’t Waste My Time
Check the Suppliers
Companies in the business of providing display solutions or key suppliers to events organisers also do blogs advising you on the techniques and key things to remember when participating in trade events. Look at your local suppliers for advice too.
- The Trade Show Marketing Network a US based Supplier provides display marketing tips and advice like : Trade Show Display Budgets – What You should be Spending
- Skyline also from the US, dish out practical and down to earth white papers and blogs on topics like trade show displays and marketing techniques for example: Trade show Planning Flowchart: your Prescription for Pain Free Exhibiting.
Off The Beaten Track
Thinking of doing something cutting edge, unique or targeting the Millennial market?
- The Alt Terrain Guerrilla Marketing Agency details different types of Guerrilla event marketing ideas with pics whilst promoting their services. For example: Engaging Mural Graffitti and Street Art Performance at Indoor and outdoor events.
- CG online Marketing has a recent post of future digital trends that definitely impact on the event sector: What’s Our Digital Future.
- Get event marketing insight from the world of concert promoters and entertainment from Dottedmusic.com : Online Tools Every Concert Promoter Should Use
WHEN: Trying not to Clash & Publishing your Event
When holding an event especially if targeting an international audience in a B2B setting, be cognizant of current events globally and make sure you get seen in international directories and event calenders. A plethora of online directories exist. Some of the more comprehensive portals include:
- 10times.com: The largest directory of trade fairs, business exhibitions & trade shows, featuring 19000+ live trade events and 8100+ Organizers worldwide. They post post show reviews and press releases so you can research events to invest in.
- Expopromoter.org is an affiliate network for the business event industry; an event industry resource offering online services for two target segments: business event organisers and B2B websites.
WHERE: Finding the Right Venue
- Meetingsbooker.com offers 58,965 conference rooms in over 100 countries around the world. Event bookers can use the website for free and receive direct online quotes or send an enquiry to a number of venues for conferences. Their blog does give latest news on new venues ideas/trends and even tools by industry guest bloggers. For example: Starbucks go after meetings market.
I hope this helps you tweak the events side of your business.
The key Marketing takeaway? Events are real world experiental face-to-face marketing activities and by their very virtue, require more focus on the following:
- Your local environment vis a vis venues and travel arrangments
- The events calender in your sector
- The people and presentation skills within your team
- Thee new technologies and trends that make people sit up and notice your activity in a noisy marketplace.
Where do YOU go for regular advice on running events? Or do you have some of your own tips to add?
Stay tuned as we explore some of these ideas in more detail with future blog posts..