The Symbiotic nature of Event Promotion – Harvesting Content Pre-event

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Content has always been King to our Event Marketing team during any pre-show promotional campaign. It is growing into a precious commodity now; acutely so, in this age of social media and digital marketing. Promoting an event as a result is really the sum of the cumulative efforts of all stakeholders in an event, not just the event Organisers. Creating the necessary promotional buzz and publicity before any saleable event takes a group effort.

In the run up to the big day, stakeholders in any event including Partners, Speakers, Delegates, Sponsors, Exhibitors and Institutional Supporters have to be harvested for the valuable content, buzz and influence they can add. They help create the Virtual Space that an event occupies, not just to the floorplan or speaking itinerary on the big day. Due to the collaborative nature of Event marketing, stakeholders bring more value than just the hard sales and cash-flow that come with every booking or sponsorship deal.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t see this as a mercenary act: It is symbiotic relationship. I spend quite a lot of time convincing our Exhibitors for example, that it is in their interest to pitch in and help us draw more interest and eventual footfall to the events they book into.

How do you Communicate this to your stakeholders?

I ask our clients the following questions as they sign up:

  • “Will you be squeezing the maximum value out of your investment from that next group Trade fair / Craft Market stall / Exhibition / Seminar appearance?”
  • “So you’ve booked in and are about to part with some hard-earned cash for the next stand / appearance/ booth / stall. Will you be letting all and sundry in your client list and database know about your next event?”
  • “Did you know contributing content to the Event organiser helps us do a better job of promoting your company pre-show?”
  • “Do you realize your products, your offers, your photo shoots, your story and even your expertise are all valuable content to the event organiser as we launch & promote the event?”

Some of our past exhibitors believe it or not, were not prepared enough to exploit pre show visitor campaigns. This, at a time when marketing via social media opens up a whole new array of additional promotional opportunities to a wider audience and every little helps. Most event Organisers work hard on several channels; both above and below the line using trade press advertising, feature advertorial, direct marketing via post and email, digital marketing, and telemarketing in advance of every show. We make a point of reminding our stakeholders to tap into this.

Selling the idea to stakeholders:

How I answer the “What’s in it for me?” question:

  • Getting all or any of these elements embedded in our publicity machine is a great way of stretching that marketing budget.
  • Getting your company and products highlighted by our Promotional Campaign ensures you get seen and remembered by potential buyers before they arrive, giving you a competitive advantage vis-a-vis other stall holders.
  • Linking up your content with the Event Organisers in the digital world would also be a potential boost to your rankings online, especially if you create links with the event’s online presence. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship.
  • The more content the organiser gets in promoting the event, the more buzz is generated over your presence and the event itself, the more likely it will be a successful one for you.
  • It costs nothing if you have already generated the relevant product or profile photos, press releases or blogs in-house for your own marketing purposes.
  • Make it easier for your contacts and clients to find the event and get in the door.
  • Maximize your presence in the marketplace by being more visible to potential buyers through the pre show visitor campaigns. Get into that virtual window display.

You may be surprised; it takes just as much selling sometimes getting someone to sell themselves.

What makes for great content you might task? Well, that’s a whole different blog.


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