As the organiser of an event be it a seminar , conference, exhibition, meeting or market even , one is always aware of the essential pre show buzz required when attracting the delegates, visitors or participants that make or break the success of the venture. Most of you have are cognizant of the social media channels & skills necessary to create that essential cyberspace hum preceding your events be it via Facebook , LinkedIn discussion groups, YouTube, twitter or the blogosphere. Question is: what makes for ready-made content when filling that pre show promotional space?
In a previous blog, I noted all Stakeholders in an event be they Sponsors , Speakers, Exhibitors, Supporters, Trade press and even the Venue management, have to be persuaded to contribute to the collective pre-event buzz with exciting promotional content that they should already have. It is inevitably in their own self-interest to do so. Here are some ideas to start-up the process when looking for relevant pre- event content:
- A portfolio of good photographs from your exhibitors or participant speakers / sponsors: be they logos, product shots for exhibitors selling a product or good profile shots of participants and their work if are selling a service. You should already be able to recycle these from their own promotional material. As Organisers hungry for attractive and colourful graphic content for printed brochures, advertising, website galleries, visitor tickets & invites, etc. these should be in ready supply from your stakeholders.
- Strike a relationship with the client’s marketing intern or executive o usually yields well written copy and press releases ready to go with any photos submitted a part of their internal marketing material. All these can be put together as blogs, newsletters or press features / advertorial; ready material when promoting to the show audience. giving them a taster of what to expect at the show. This can be linked to their websites providing a value added service in the eyes of the participant.
- Have they an interesting bio or story about the company, its team members, or interesting historical facts? Do they have an inspiring tale of overcoming challenges in the economy? Share it. Profile the exhibitors as human interest stories in press releases and in newsletters to their target buyers in the run up to the show.
- Ask Stakeholders to make available any respected, well-known or creative people in their company including your own for interviews especially if they have expertise to brag about. If they have a blog, why not offer these up to the digital marketing side of the event as guest bloggers? It costs nothing right?
- Have they any sales promotions, discount codes, coupons or free gifts, lucky draws to redeem at the event? It’s your hook to potential buyers and existing ones to visit the stands at the event. Includes this in newsletter marketing, catalogue listings both printed & online.
- Suggest they piggy back on their invite mail out both online and in the post – for a small fee you could probably insert a flyer and I bet it will still cost less than if they did it themselves.
- Suggest Pre Event Surveys that ask people what the want to see at the show. Get the audience to vote for the item to showcase at the stands. Ask a question : a funny or even a serious one, from your prospective delegates or client via forums, Linkedin page or FB status. The results can feature at the event and in advertising.
- Preparations for the event with pics and designs showing the construction process also make for an exciting build up whether these come from yourself as the organisers or from the participants as they tell their story leading up to the show. Start up an online countdown calendar to build the tension with a new story from each stakeholder on their buildup to the show.
- Want to make it easier for clients to get their target audience in the doors? Make sure you help them send direct invites to their own client lists to come to event by providing them all the tools, links , logos and invite material necessary. It saves new target clients the hassle of having to look for a way to register for the event by pre-empting their interest.
It’s a start and any experienced events professional would eventually find many great examples in their own sector.
As organizers of the Irish Furniture & Home Accessories Fair in the RDS , we will make these suggestions to our would be clients the moment they sign in and before hand as a selling pint to participating.
Key Takeaway note: we all have great stories to tell – Utilize these potential stories to whet the appetites of your audience beforehand. Make them come back for more by enlisting for the event, eager to meet your stakeholders face to face, in the flesh at our events.