Events: Making it worth the Investment
TO SPONSOR OR NOT
There are all sorts of B2B events happening around the year. It does make no sense at all to jump in indiscriminately and pay a premium for your branding opportunity. You will not only waste a part of your marketing budget but will also waste the efforts of the marketing and sales teams. There should be a thorough clarity about the nature of the event profile. Some of the factors to consider are listed below:
- Location: The location of the event will be the first criteria to select whether the market the event is catering to is in line with your target market. You should look at the timeline of the event, people will not travel for a one-day event, however, if the event is renowned and spreads across two days you will have more chances of people travelling for this. Another consideration should be the presence of a local team in that region. That can help reduce the cost.
- Target Audience: It is important to have the relevant target audience present at the event, this can be done by scouting the previous year attendee list. It should give you a good idea if the audience that is visiting the event is relevant to your target audience.
- Access to Audience: Some of the B2B events are setup in a format that the audience gets limited time to visit the booths. If this is the case it is important to look at the sponsorship level / options, if the audience has limited time to visit the booths then it is difficult to get attention in this limited time span.
- Cost of Sponsorship: Events are generally expensive, specifically trade shows. When deciding to do an event or skip, the brand visibility should be compared to the cost of sponsorship and what all is included in the sponsorship package.
- Speaking Opportunity: Speaking opportunity provides a great way to showcase your brand. If your sponsorship opportunities provide a speaking slot they should be leveraged.
- Attendee List: If you can get access to attendee list before the event that should be an advantage and can help setup pre-event meetings which can be the difference between a successful and a damp event.
One of the things that can also be looked is the list of repeat sponsors, if you see a trend where the key sponsors have been participating in the event every year, it means this event has been successful for them.
The show may match your product portfolio, the venue may be right in your target country or state, the organizer may be good at branding, but you still have a lot to work out. If you don’t get enough pre-event meetings, then the event may not be able to generate the return on Investment. The sponsors also offer an opportunity to send mailers in advance and companies should make full use of these. In these mailers you should talk about why people should visit the booth, an interesting offer, a raffle prize etc.
You can also get an inside sales team or use Beyond Codes to setup pre-event meetings. These meetings ensure that the team present at the event can use their time effectively and can have relevant communication with target audience.
Some of the best organizers in the world provide a lot of branding options during the venue itself. Starting from extra branding opportunities at strategic places like the main conference hall, exhibition hall lobby etc., to premium advertisements at strategic pages on the show catalogues there are a lot of brand engagement options to choose from. Some organizer also manage for an official coverage of a visit of a VIP to your booth. These are precious branding opportunities that will surely bring success to your events campaigns.
DRIVING AUDIENCE TO THE BOOTH:
You can customize your booth and it can help delivers good results when you decide to ditch the shell scheme booth and decide to make a designer booth that will stand out of the crowd by using a theme that communicates your brand message.
If you need to showcase a product / solution to the event attendees, it is very important to drive audience to the booth. Some of the commonly used tactics are mentioned below:
- Raffle: This is the most commonly used tactic. Most companies will have a give away at their booth which is generally given in a draw
- Game: This is the other frequently used tactic. You can have a game like a golf simulator or any other game which the participants can play to get a small award
- Give Away: You can plan to give branded give away, this will help in brand recall
- Food / Drink Attractions: If the organizers permit, you can have wine tasting or chees tasting stalls
It is also equally important to track conversations at the booth. As a practice you should send emails to people you connected with very early. A delay in this activity can lead to the conversation getting delayed and a lost opportunity.
POST SHOW ACTIVITIES
The real activity starts once the event ends. Now the onus is on the marketing team to keep the engagement sustained. There should be an immediate communication of thanks for visiting the booth. Any immediate requirement must be catered to. Any scheduled meeting must be conducted without any delay. These activities when completed on time, adds up to your brand value and goes a long way to generate and nurture a lead.