Integrated Marketing for Exhibitor Success
Expositions (trade and consumer shows) are exceptionally valuable, productive vehicles for marketing. Whether an exposition is used to introduce a new product, introduce or reinforce a brand, or generate market recognition of an established product or service, expositions provide extraordinary opportunities for success. Poorly planned exhibit programs, though, can be a waste of money, time, and other resources. The best planned exhibit programs are those that are integrated with all of your company’s marketing efforts. To get the most out of your exhibit program, ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want to get out of this exposition?
- Can I reach my target audience at this exposition?
- What are attendees looking for at this exposition? Check the attendee profile provided by show management to ensure that your products/services match attendees’ needs.
- What are the primary concerns of attendees? Your answer to this question will help you craft your message and design elements.
- How does my product or service fulfill their needs? Make sure your participation is appropriate to the show.
Plan an integrated marketing plan by following these nine steps:
- Define the situation. Articulate what is happening in the market place with regard to your products, the competition, and your position in the marketplace.
- Identify and research your target audience. Identify the decision makers and recognize the influencers. Learn their needs and challenges. Use this research to help position your products.
- Establish measurable goals and objectives. Set forth specific objectives that you can quantify, so you can know how successful your participation has been.
- Develop strategies to achieve the goals and objectives. You must know what you are going to do to achieve your goals.
- Develop a creative exhibit program to attract and educate your target audience.
Use advertising, pre-show promotion, website postings, public relations, etc. to attract the right audience.
- Ensure all marketing communications are integrated to achieve a consistent message for your target audience. Every contact you have with your audience must be consistent and must emphasize your core message.
- Design the exhibit and graphics to support the integrated marketing message. Your exhibit and graphics program should be built to support the core message.
- Conduct a strategic briefing to educate and motivate your booth staff. Make certain that your booth staff know how to act. Be aware of what distracts from their effectiveness, and what message you want to send. Booth staff are critical to your success, so spend time to make sure they are ready.
- Follow up on leads. Pay attention to leads generated during the exposition, and follow up quickly.