The three essential elements of any successful tradeshow marketing event are:
- The Right Participants
- The Right Message
- The Right Action
Getting these right will deliver a positive return on the investment your company has made and will provide you with results you can measure and use to continually improve your program.
The Right Participants
You must attract enough of the right people to your exhibit or event, i.e., those individuals who can actually benefit from your business. It is essential to identify by company and title, if not name, everyone at an upcoming event who can improve your results.
Next, contact and arrange pre-scheduled, face-to-face meeting with these targeted individuals to discuss mutually beneficially approaches to take advantage of market opportunities. If you are able to accomplish the equivalent of an important sales call with targeted individuals who visit your booth, you will reduce your overall cost of sale.
Broaden your idea of a “target” to include suppliers and business partners. Interactions with these valuable members of your company’s ecosystem have the potential to reduce the cost of materials or logistics and contribute directly to the success of the business.
The Right Message
You must deliver compelling messages that motivate these targets to act upon a specific follow-up action that helps move the opportunity further down the sales cycle. Your messages should be persuasive, making the target “feel” that taking the next step with your company is the right thing to do. To continue to evolve your messages to be more meaningful over time to your targets, you can conduct surveys that measure the perception and recall of key messages after the event. The number of participants who commit to the follow-up action is also a good indicator of the effectiveness of your messages.
The Right Action
You must obtain actions from the participants that tie directly to profit improvement for your company, either through an increase in revenue or a reduction in cost. You must have a specific outcome in mind for these targets and they must embrace it.
Remember, usually it is what happens after the event that delivers payback. So, your post-event plan is just an important part of the strategic event plan. Keeping all of these targets continuously engaged in a communal relationship with your company is essential. The key measure is the number of participants who commit and complete that specific follow-up action.
If any one of these three essential success factors is missing, most likely you will not be able to justify investment in the event. Pre-event and post-event activities are as critical as event execution. Build a solid plan that details and measures each step of the way to success.