Business events are fast becoming a popular marketing strategy for brands looking to propel their business forward - thanks to the back-to-basics advantages that come with face-to-face engagement. Making a splash in the sector will be no easy feat, but by putting in the hours planning for your event, you can ensure the big day goes off without a hitch.
When it comes to a successful marketing event, the saying ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ has never been more relevant - and whether it’s an individual pop-up or large industry expo, planning is key when it comes to drumming up interest.
Drawing attention to your brand ahead of an event is crucial in targeting a relevant demographic and social media platforms offer a free opportunity for mass reach. Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn are essential tools in your event marketing kit - so if you’re brand isn’t already socially active, now’s the time to set up those much-needed accounts.
Whether you’re posting live or scheduling updates in advance, don’t underestimate the power of social media. Tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite will help you schedule updates for during the event, so you can ensure your audience - as well as non-attendees - are up to date at all times. Posting updates of your location and exhibition times is a great way to ensure prospects can find you with ease - making the process as hassle-free as possible for them. Don’t forget to tag other attendees in your posts and jump on event-relevant hashtags to increase exposure.
2. The event
So, once the event day arrives, how are you going to ensure your brand stands out from the sea of exhibitors?
This is where your pre-event social media activity can come into fruition - as you’ll hopefully already have a group of interested prospects attending. But while they might be physically present, the next challenge is drawing your audience to your stand - and one of the most effective ways of increasing footfall to your banner stand is through dynamic design.
Whether you’re launching a product from a bespoke exhibition trailer or promoting your brand at an industry expo, drawing attention to your business is key. From the positioning of your banner stand to the printing of your business cards, be bold with your branding if you want to engage your audience and immerse them in your brand.
With event technology taking the business sector by storm, there are any number of innovative pieces of kit you can use to maximise consumer-brand engagement. Whether you’re interested in wearable technology, you want to discover how holographic images can impact your brand or you’re looking to experiment with live streaming, shaking up your marketing methods will guarantee you command the attention of your audience by bringing your brand to life.
3. Following up
Once the event is over and your business cards are tucked away, don't be fooled into thinking that the hard work is over - you might have secured the interest of an array of prospects, but a timely follow up is key.
Avoid falling at the final hurdle by planning for a quick turnaround ahead of time - this will help to ensure any exciting leads don’t go cold in the aftermath of the event. The social media connections you secured in the planning stages of your event will be a big part of your follow up - and they’ll be useful for providing feedback even if they don’t turn into clients.
So whether it’s a Facebook friend request or a timely retweet, make the most of social media and use these popular platforms to help you nurture those essential connections.
From the planning stages to the event execution to the post-event follow-up, events provide platforms from which businesses can experiment with their marketing methods and boost their branding to ensure their message is heard.
By Manpreet Sandhu, events blogger at The Events Structure.
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