Between trade shows, consumer shows, exhibitions, festivals and fairs, the list of events in the U.S. is massive – tens of thousands! With such a large number and variety of events, it can be difficult to determine the best events for your brand’s event marketing program. To make it easier, USA Expo has created a guide to help you figure it out. Whether B2B or B2C, these steps will lead you through the process.
1. Develop a List of Goals
The first step in determining which events to participate in, is sitting down and developing a list of goals. This list will help you discover what your brand hopes to achieve by partaking in the events. Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate publicity, make sales, introduce new products, or a combination? Whatever your brand’s goals are, it is important to ensure they are clear. Every goal should include criteria for measuring success. Setting goals will help you determine which events will benefit your brand the most.
2. Determine Your Target Audience
Another vital step to ensure that your brand chooses a beneficial event, is determining your target audience. Think about the types of people you want to reach. Ask yourself, “Who is our ideal customer/client?” Once you answer those questions, figure out what types of events your target audience is attending.
3. Develop a Budget
Participating in an event is typically pricey. Events can have a long list of costs, including travel, lodging, staffing, shipping, drayage, booth costs, labor, and more. It is important to create a budget, as it will help you determine the events in your price range.
Tip: Clearly understand your goals and the metrics you need to hit at each event. Along with your budget, these metrics will help determine if an event will generate the ROI you need.
4. Research. Research. Research.
It is crucial to research all potential events your brand is considering. Determine what type of audience the event caters to. Look at statistics, the types of exhibitors and information from previous years’ shows. What was the attendance like? Does the show have a good reputation?
It is helpful to compare potential events side by side. Look at the differences between categories like cost, target audiences, and the previous successes of the shows.
5. Attend Shows
One of the best ways to evaluate an event and determine if it is a good fit for your brand is to check it out for yourself. You’ll be able to get a feel for the type and number of people that attend the event, the various exhibitors, and how well the event fits with your brand’s event marketing goals.
As all event and experiential marketers know, there is never a guarantee of success with any event. These five steps will help guide you through the overwhelming number of events though, and help you choose the ones that will be best for your brand.
Need assistance in finding the best events for your brand? Contact one of our event experts today!