B2B marketers spend roughly 25% of their annual budget on event marketing. Whether it’s a tradeshow sponsorships, company-hosted event, or expo – events can be an effective way to identify prospects, build relationships, and connect with clients.
Executed well, events can provide a runway for future marketing content and sales conversations. If you’re wondering how to maximize your event marketing spend, we’ve recapped our top three tips here, beginning with communications before, during, and after the event.
Develop a Communications Plan
A well-organized communications plan around your event will not only increase awareness and visibility but also create buzz and a reason for media, attendees, and industry leaders to connect with you at the event. A plan should include:
- Speaking Opportunities– Well in advance of the event, identify if there are opportunities to submit speaking proposals – a proven way to elevate executives as trusted contributors and thought leaders.
- Press Release & Blog Content – Use a news release and blogs to let people know you’re attending a show, particularly if you’re speaking, launching a new product, or publishing a new whitepaper or rich content. Be sure to include the booth number and tag the tradeshow!
- Media Relations – Obtain a copy of the tradeshow media list as soon as it’s available. Pitch media and book on-site product demos and interviews in your booth.
- Influence your Network – Provide daily updates and engage with others attending the conference using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Social media is also an effective way to connect with media and influencers.
- Video and Testimonials – Capture interviews with executives, media, attendees, etc. and post to your social channels. Letting others tell your story (in their own words) – an authentic testimonial is the best form of endorsement.
- Host Booth Events – Organize (and publicize) speaking events and product demonstrations. Give people a reason to stop by and better yet – provide media with an opportunity to see your team and your product in action!
Roughly 88% of marketers use social media to promote awareness prior to their event, but less than half use social after the event has come and gone. Keep the discussion going by sharing event highlights and key takeaways. Remember to leverage quotes, photos, and captions from featured speakers, attendees, moderators, and media.
When in doubt, let your attendees do the talking. At 89%, testimonials have the highest effectiveness rating for content marketing.
Approximately 80% of trade show exhibitors don’t follow up with their ‘leads’. Pretty surprising given that lead gen is typically the primary goal of every event.
Partner with your sales team to design a follow-up strategy that incorporates both marketing and sales touch points. Ideally, you’ll map out your follow-up plan before the event so that your email, phone call, and in-person meeting strategy is aligned.
Do you have an upcoming event or tradeshow on the calendar? Our team would love to help you maximize your investment and make the most of your next in-person event. Contact us today.