Best Practices for Attendee Marketing

More options for attendance marketing are available today than ever before. Yet more challenges also exist. What techniques and channels drive the highest attendance and best return on investment?

At Expo Next, Michael Hughes—managing director, research and consulting, for Red7Media/Access Intelligence—shared his findings from research about the modern show attendee, and Kimberly Carcone—senior director, Trade Show & Event Marketing Toy Industry Association, Inc.—revealed her insights into new attendee trends. Here are some tried-and-true methods for marketing to quantify what works and what doesn’t in today’s market.

How Attendees Have Changed

1. Smaller buying teams today have more purchasing authority.

2. Attendees register closer to the event and stay at the event for shorter time periods.

3. Buyers review products online first, and meet the people behind the brands and “test drive” products at the shows.

4. Today’s attendees are more cost-conscious, looking for deals.

5. They are looking for more content and information.

Event Management Equals Event Content Development

Event management has become about managing increasing amounts of content. There are 38 different content areas and types from which you can drive revenue and maximize attendee value, including:

• Archived event information

• Award events

• Social media, digital communities

• Educational sessions

• E-newsletters

• Entertainment

• Exhibits, environments and displays

• Mobile apps

• Event-related publications

• Video

• Virtual events, Webinars/Webcasts

• Post-event survey and evaluations.

The Goal: Engage

The key to engaging content is not only creating relevant, valuable content, but also in how, when and where you use it. Some tips to keep in mind:

1. Use all means of communication to create an immersive experience before, during and after the show.

2. Be aware that engagement differs from attendee acquisition.

3. Understand that conversation differs from traditional, one-way, marketing.

4. Engagement plus conversation equals audience enthusiasm. Audience enthusiasm brings:

• Participation.

• Action.

• Connection.

• Attachment.

• Commitment.

5. To be engaged with your audiences year-round, deliver high-quality, robust content through diverse channels:

• Your website(s).

• Blogs.

• Mobile app(s).

6. Encourage interaction on multiple topics, such as: Show details, cost-saving ideas, current business trends.

7. Be proactive and responsive to customer interaction.

8. Create fun!

9. To engage your audience, cultivate internal talent or invite talent in from external sources. Successful engagement cannot be an afterthought!