Exhibiting at a show can be very effective
Are you getting the most out of the effort?
Trade shows offer serious exposure. To make the most of the opportunity, we need to think strategically, and plan through the effort.
Longbow provides targeted marketing. Events, conferences, expos and trade shows gather audiences and represent a great way to market, when done right.
The Value of Event Marketing
Sales, Marketing, Visibility and Leadership—we need to be seen, be credible and build rapport in our space.
Lead generation and sales is why we exhibit. Certain events can be so important to an industry, that not attending means you’re not in the running for many customers.
We’re very familiar with the healthcare, technology, and retail space. Customers attend an event to find solutions to real problems they face.
HIMSS, and AHIP for healthcare, RSA for security, Gartner for big data, CES for tech—signature events for your specific industry can make a huge difference for sales.
But simply being in the right place at the right time does not equate to success. Understanding your market, and your place within it, you niche, can make or break you.
When you exhibit and it works, it becomes part of your corporate DNA. We identify events on a yearly basis and structure a plan that creates seasons of opportunity. Work up to big events, so when they hit, you’re at peak efficiency. You’ll start to identify sales trends and over time, know exactly when and where you need to be.
By budgeting and planning, and understanding yearly sales cycles, the goal is to establish patterns and remove anxiety from the process.
Ramp up sales effort at events. This is the place for face to face, lead development.
We do event marketing.
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Exhibiting is the perfect opportunity to train your sales team. More than perfecting your pitch, from a marketing perspective, you see what’s working, what resonates, and what falls flat.
Building and refining how you exhibit is an intensive process. Your signature event is not the best time to learn. Perfect and train your team at smaller events, so you can shine when the big one hits.
Building your Brand
Visibility in your space. When you exhibit, you start to establish presence. This alone is a reason to set up shop. Opportunities abound at events to go bigger. Speaking, Presenting and delivering a Session is a powerful way to be seen as an expert. Develop your talent and leadership and present when you can.
Big events, and small ones, bring the media. We’re big fans of trade publications. They’re often the perfect place to advertise and reach your target markets. Get in the right magazine, timed for the show. Working on a yearly schedule will help you identify opportunity and year to year—preposition yourself for success.
Many industries buy once a year, depending on your products and services. Understanding the buying cycles in your space cannot be overstated.
Launching a new product? Now is the time to talk about it.
Writing News and the Press Release
We’ve worked to deliver news and press releases to hit at the event. With so much coverage, it’s the perfect time to plan announcements. Once you get into a yearly groove, market efforts become a regularly scheduled affair.
Building relationships with publications and news is what PR is all about. And if we’re already advertising, it’s the prefect time to connect and build rapport.
At the event, we work to line up interviews from these publications. And don’t forget media training; If your spokesperson isn’t prepared, all the effort can be for naught. Bad PR hurts. A little time to perfect your interviewing skills pays off in post-event coverage. Training our spokespersons to speak with reporters is an ongoing process. We can help.
Understanding your market
Events are the perfect time to learn what customers want. Don’t just push content, listen intently, poll, survey and connect with prospects.
Events Q and A
Which event should we exhibit at?
Understanding your goals, your audience and picking which events to exhibit at—is mission critical. The cost to exhibit and attend, not to mention the distractions and stress it places on your team cannot be underestimated. Selecting which events offer value is step one.
What’s our message?
Focus your communications. Do what you say and say what you do.
Who’s the audience?
Tailor your message to this audience. Study them and learn what they want. Understand your competitors. Know what’s trending. At events, walk the floor, attend sessions and brainstorm all we can do for next year.
What are the Goals?
Don’t assume events are good for you. Establish goals and measure to them. Use small events to make mistakes and understand your spend, then budget and refine.
Bigger is not always better. When you exhibit, make it visible, focused and communicate succinctly. Booth, signage, collateral everything should align. Digital Signage can be very effective, but understand your environment. We love to study the competition and then contrast, to make you stand out.
For more visibility, events offer sponsorship and other ways to participate. Sponsor a coffee, host a party, get creative and keep things on brand, on target. Time your ads to hit at the event. Communicate with both the event organizer and venue to see what’s available.
Media and Trade Publications
As we talked about above, leverage media and trade publications. They work hard to gather an audience. Build rapport and advertise. Get written up, publish an advertorial, there are so many ways to reach audiences. Do it in a way that lets you track response to determine what works and what doesn’t. This is a long play. Don’t expect immediate stardom. Ramp up efforts as you learn what works, over time.
Before the event, reach out. Let customers and prospects know you’re attending. Provide access when you can, invite friends and spread the word. Schedule meets at the event, where so many of your resources are gathered.
Post-Event Follow up
After the show, reach out again and follow up. We spend so much time and energy on events—make sure you’re getting the most from the effort.
Measuring and Evaluating Success
When the dust has settled, we need to talk to the team and see what worked, and what didn’t. Look at data and metrics and quantify our effort. Use this a guideline and improve.
Make the most of every trade show
Longbow helped a Healthcare Information Network manage over 60 events in one year, from partner workshops to training events to monster, must attend events.
With a little planning, we can help you get a handle on trade strategy, from booth design and collateral, internet coverage to promotion, and using news and public relations to maximum advantage. And most of all, set in place metrics so we can measure effectiveness.