You have secured your company a space in the Brisbane Eco Expo, now what?
A study conducted by the Centre for Exhibition Industry Research found that the conversion of booth visitors to qualified leads rose 50% when companies employed a pre-event promotion strategy. Reports have also found that roughly 70% of event attendees plan a list of brands/booths to visit before even setting foot on the show floor! By contrast, an average of only 10-15% of show exhibitors invest in pre-event marketing efforts, according to show and event marketing firm Exhibit Systems.
From these numbers, it’s apparent that: 1) pre-event marketing has a serious impact on the ROI of your company at an event, 2) pre-event marketing is an area of weakness for many businesses, and 3) opportunities are lost as a result.
A common misconception is that the event organisers will do your promoting for you.
While the Eco Expo Team have outlined in the Exhibitor Kit a number of pre-event promotions they will do on your behalf, you cannot expect event management to do all your recruiting for you. Event management’s real job is to get plenty of attendees to the event itself. It is still your job is to get the best prospects to visit your booth. If you just wait for them to walk by randomly, you’ll miss major business opportunities.
It’s recommended to begin your event marketing efforts about two to three months in advance. If you want to make pre-event marketing a priority at your next event, whether it’s a matter of weeks or a year from now, here are some tips to create your pre-event strategy and hype.
Announce your Exhibition event presence often and everywhere.
You want as many people as possible to know your company is exhibiting at the Brisbane Eco Expo. Just like you would with a major product announcement, take a multi-channel approach to your event promotion.
Announce your event presence via press releases, social media, your company’s website with a banner at the top, on your blog, email signatures, emails to your database etc. Let the world know the details of: your booth number and location, any giveaways or promotions, product demonstrations, etc. If no one knows your booth exists, no one will be consciously seeking it out. Make your event presence known to all of your current customers and social media followers.
Do you have a physical store? If you are a company with a lot of customer foot traffic, consider setting up a banner stand with a sign telling people about the upcoming show. Set out a coupon or item that can be brought to the show to be traded in for a special offer/incentive.
Don’t forget to make your show attendance personal. If you know (or want) a particular client or prospect to attend the show, reach out to them and invite them to stop by your booth. While this may be a Business to Consumer event, that does not mean that Trade visitors and other business owners won’t attend. The Friday of any consumer event is the perfect day to entice business owners and trades people to meet with you at your stand to look over your products.
Get creative with your Exhibitor story
Aside from announcing that your company is exhibiting at the show, find a creative way to tell your audience what your company will be doing there. Are you hosting demo sessions, giveaways, a lemonade stand or a scavenger hunt? Shoot a short video previewing what visitors to your booth can expect.
Have fun with your story! This is the time to draw your audience in and get them excited. Give your audience a reason to come to your stand.
Be a part of the #conversation.
Almost every show has an event hashtag that’s used to drive conversations on social media. The Brisbane Eco Expo’s hashtag is #brisecoexpo. While hashtag activity will peak during the event, many attendees and exhibitors post beforehand to share their enthusiasm for the upcoming show.
Following the hashtag can help you identify and connect with these attendees ahead of time.
The power of social media
Exhibiting at the Brisbane Eco Expo is a great way to get your social media sites working for you. Get your clients interested and involved in what you are doing. Post regular updates about what you will be bringing, guest speakers attending, special offers, photos and videos of you setting up, and more. Tag all of your Australian suppliers/stockists in your posts and watch the interests and likes grow!
Start thinking of interactive ways to promote your presence to new customers by having your loyal customers ‘share’ your page and posts. For example, the Eco Expo Team will send out discounted tickets a few months before the event for your company to offer to clients, friends, and family. Why not make it a competition on your social media accounts to win some tickets? Have people share your Facebook and Instagram competition posts with the information about your event attendance in order for them to win tickets!
Snapchat and Instagram stories are another great way to hype visitors up. Its like being given behind the scenes access to the your company’s lead up to the event.
Be aware of marketing opportunities provided by the show.
This may seem like an obvious tip; however, with so many items on the to-do list, many exhibitors forget to check out the marketing opportunities officially offered by show organisers.
These opportunities can include free company listings on the event’s press page, social media giveaways, and partnerships with media sponsors.
The Brisbane Eco Expo offers Marketing Packs. Most exhibitors will have a Marketing Pack included in their booth price free. However, if you want to get the most from the Expo, upgrading to a better Marketing Pack is the best way to go. Upgrades can be found in the Exhibitor Kit. The earlier you secure an upgrade, the more time you have to take advantage of what is on offer.