Exhibiting requires a lot of time, money and resources. Still, the benefits it can create often outweigh the initial expenditure by increasing brand awareness and generating leads within your sector.
If you are looking to invest in event marketing, it is essential to make sure you see a return on investment (ROI). To help you get started and identify the routes for success, we have outlined some key points to consider before, during and after your exhibition.
Set Realistic Targets and Track Them
You can plan the perfect exhibit, invite the right people and even generate leads. But without setting goals and targets, you will never know if you achieved what you wanted to by exhibiting at an event.
Setting realistic targets will make it much easier to calculate an accurate ROI figure once the event has finished. You can then establish whether the event was worth your time, effort and if it generated the results that you hoped to see.
How to Promote Your Event Presence
Although event marketing provides many benefits for businesses, an exhibition would be pointless without relevant attendees. Promote your presence before the event and create interest with contacts so you can make sure you are face to face with as many valuable leads as possible.
Start by establishing yourself as a thought leader by publishing content that positions your brand as the place to go for insightful information and solutions. That way, they are more likely to seek you out at an event. Whether it is blog posts, social posts or landing pages on your website, start the conversation pre-event to promote your presence at the exhibition.
Next, segment your contacts and start outreaching. Split your contacts into specific groups and target them accordingly. As well as targeting new persons of interest, reach out to current customers so they can see your latest product and/or services offerings and have a chance to catch up. Consider contacting leads already in your pipeline, allowing them to meet you face to face.
Offering VIP invites for current customers shows them that they are valued and creates the chance for you to upsell their current packages.
Finally, work with the event host. They will conduct their own pre-event marketing you might be able to utilise to your advantage. At HETT, we offer the HETT Connect service, where you can book meetings with attendees ahead of time.
Attracting People to Your Stand
Now it is time to think about the event itself and how you can attract people to your exhibition stand. Remember, there will be a lot of other companies who will showcase what they have to offer, so it is important to consider how you can stand out from the competition.
One of the most obvious attributes is stand design — this is worth your time and investment. They say that you should not judge a book by its cover. However, first impressions stand for a lot when you are trying to grab attendees’ attention. Make sure your branding is strong, clarifies what you are offering and avoids making your stand appear overwhelming.
If possible, consider making your stand interactive. Experience is vital and if you can communicate what you have to offer in a more engaging way, your brand will be more memorable for your leads.
But it is not just about what your stand looks like; it is about getting your audience to visit. Make use of prior appointments as much as possible, which you should have set up during your pre-event outreach. A personal connection goes a long way, so spend time with leads and customers to make sure they become engaged and start moving down your pipeline.
How to Follow-up With Leads Post-Event
Your marketing efforts should not stop once the event is over — the follow-up period is just as important as the event itself. If you spent the time planning out a strong event strategy, you should have ensured you collected contact details for all of your prospects.
First, identify what stage they are at in the buyer’s journey. This is important to ensure you target them with the correct information at the right time, nurturing them through your pipeline.
Then, use a tailored approach based on these findings. Avoid sending blanket, generic emails to everyone you interacted with at the event. This shows no personalisation and can be off-putting for potential leads.
Although you will be hoping that some leads will turn into customers, make sure not to hand them off to your sales team straight away. Depending on their stage in the buyer’s journey, develop the relationship further and turn them into a sales qualified lead (SQL) when the time is right.
You should also consider how you can add value for your customers post-event. Create a post-event page for leads to interact with you further — this also offers the opportunity for people who could not attend your event to see what they missed out on. Take this further by supplying leads with blog posts, downloads or any relevant extra information to help them inform their decision.
When you have invested heavily in events, it is also crucial to know whether your efforts were worthwhile. A post-event survey can provide valuable insight for marketing teams. Feedback from attendees can allow you to identify gaps, room for improvements or recognise key successes for you to consider for your next event.
HETT Is the Place to Start
Start your event marketing journey today by joining us at HETT — the UK’s largest digital health event. Offering you the chance to meet thousands of like-minded healthcare professionals and potential leads, as well as networking and partnership opportunities, HETT is the place for you to experience the benefits of event marketing.