For face-to-face marketing programs to reach their objectives, many different skill sets are required. Most companies deal directly with a face-to-face marketing agency (“Face-to-Face”) that can provide a complete package of event capabilities, from architectural design to graphic messaging to interactive engagement – all wrapped with measurement criteria to determine results.
However, certain companies, typically those with larger or more complicated event programs, will delegate responsibility and day-to-day oversight to the marketing agency (“Agency”) charged with promoting their brand across a broad range of media. This Agency then becomes the primary contact for the Face-to-Face firm creating the branded environment for upcoming events.
The good news is that the Agency typically has an extensive understanding of a client’s brand and objectives, and is in a position to develop an approach that will appropriately promote the client. But, by adding another tier to the communication and approval processes, there are challenges that should be recognized and considered when the Agency is the pointguard to successful progress.
Reliable Communication Flow
When all communications with the Client flow through an Agency representative, there is a risk of delays in receipt of information or approvals that have been requested, as well as a possibility that certain nuances of the information will be missed. In addition, without direct contact with the decision-maker, it could be difficult to grasp what drives a decision and the relative importance of the details of the transferred information.
Aligning Budgets with Designs
In many cases when an Agency is involved, the creative design of an exhibit environment comes from its own creative team, not from the Face-to-Face agency charged with fabricating the exhibit. Unfortunately, Agency designers typically do not have experience translating ideas into 3-D environments that work within the physical and cost demands of trade show participation.
For example, a design could include an attention-grabbing “floating” element outside the booth. Constructing this could require an intricate rigging configuration that would be costly, and might not be allowed based on show rules.
As experts in 3-D manufacturing, a Face-to-Face team understands factors unique to trade shows, such as drayage, ease of assembly, electrical constraints, crating requirements and transportation costs. Designs created without consideration of the trade show environment could easily breach a client’s budget, causing difficulty for both the Agency and the Face-to-Face teams.
Messaging that Works
Creating a graphic display for a print ad or a piece of marketing collateral is different from producing graphics that live on a trade show floor. There are size and resolution requirements that must be taken into account in the original design to ensure the desired impact on the target audience. Often, Agency personnel have to be educated as to the role of large-format graphics in supporting a branded environment.
Additionally, 2-D messaging in ads and collateral supply all necessary information within the piece itself. In a 3-D environment, messaging hierarchy has to be taken into consideration and communicated in layers of scale – from hero to human – that speak to audiences at different degrees of approach, engagement and commitment with the brand. Agency personnel can overlook this layer of development and information exchange so critical to success.
The Payment Cycle
If the Agency only pays the Face-to-Face firm after they have received payment from the client, this delay could be an issue. It is important for the client to understand how the payment cycle would best be managed so there is no risk of outstanding payment hindering a fabulous trade show experience.
As with most business partnerships, the most successful outcomes come from a high level of trust across all of the players. The trust that is demonstrated between the Face-to-Face firm and Agency will help solidify the relationship between the Agency and the Client, and all parties will meet their objectives.
Contact us to learn how Exhibitus works with agencies to gain their trust and ensure successful results on the trade show floor.