Event Marketing Strategies: Five Tips on Picking the Right Show to Attend

It happens to the best of us: your team works tirelessly to create the best event marketing program possible, spending hours on the right display, working on sales pitches and much more, only to have the effort yield little results. In many cases, it can go back to basics: were you at the right event?

Picking the show to attend should be one of the first tasks in your event marketing strategies. If you’re not at the show your ideal customers are, were you anywhere at all? The answer is no. Here’s five tips to ensure you’re picking the right show.

  1. Focus on the Audience First. Do you have customer personas, or at least a rough idea of the type of customer you’d like to reach? This should at the very least include demographic information and if in a B2B market, job titles. Now put those personas or information to work and match them with the attendance information of each show. 
  1. Align Market with Company and Capabilities. Make sure you’re aligning your event marketing strategies with your overall company priorities. If you don’t have the company’s ultimate goals in mind when selecting a show, you’re doing it wrong. A successful event marketing program will support and enhance those goals so that at the end of the year, you can point to how you helped achieve them. For example, if Phoenix is a market where your company is developing, you may consider supporting with local events. However, if Phoenix is just a location that works with the event tour and not a location your brand has specific sales goals around, you should reconsider letting the location drive your decision. Having the right sales support and brand ambassadors in each market can dramatically improve your success rate, but first you need to really understand the markets where a strong on-site presence is important. Loop in sales and marketing or others in the company if you need to, just make sure the company goals are top of mind. 
  1. Know the Numbers and Do your Research. Attendance figures can often be exaggerated, so make sure you’re not choosing an event based solely on a sky-high attendance number. To ensure you’re getting a clear picture of what a potential audience could look like, take some time to speak with exhibitors who have been there in the past, look for online reviews and maybe even check to see what others had to say on social media. You can likely find a plethora of tweets and opinions just by clicking the last year’s event hashtag. 
  1. Venue Matters. A little common sense will go a long way. A great, large event likely isn’t going to be held in a venue that you haven’t heard of. If you’re not familiar with the area and unsure if the venue is established or not, do a little online research. 
  1. The Floorplan Can Tell it All. Take a close look at the floorplan: it likely holds all the right answers to whether you should attend the show or not. In addition, analyzing the other exhibitors and booth sizes and layouts can often indicate a strong performing show. If there are many large brands and larger footprints, this can often indicate a strong buying audience and a show you should consider attending.

Looking for home and garden shows and still not sure which is a great one? We can help! Download our free white paper, The 2017 Guide to the Top Home and Garden Shows in the U.S.

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