1. Create and maintain an online presence. Event sponsor should start with a dedicated event website to share news, information and take registrations. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile users. And, create event pages on your LinkedIn and Facebook pages. Before, during and after the show, post updates, breaking news and commentary from your experts.
2. Use direct marketing. Targeted lists, such as past attendee lists your own customer and prospects lists and industry specific lists, are a great place to star gaining interest. For example, you might invite your prospects to a special VIP pre-party with a hot industry speaker, and us your direct mail piece for RSVPs to this “invite-only” party. Remember to follow up your direct mail offer with an email to anyone who has opted in, and give them another reason to visit your booth during the show.
3. Use incentives. Holding a contest or offering a great giveaway? Use those special offers as an incentive for people to visit your booth. If you’re launching a new product or service or even have an updated catalog, store your marketing materials on USB drives imprinted with your company name and logo for a great giveaway. Offer your best prospects a “thank you” gift with perceived value if they schedule a post-show meeting with you.
4. Create a showstopping display. Attention exhibitors: Try to reserve prime real estate in a high-traffic location so your booth is seen by as many people as possible. Invest in quality materials. You’ll appreciate the easy set-up and take-down of display graphics that have the durability to last the show season. Use freestanding posters or roll-up banner stands to reinforce key messages and offers.
5. Put the press to work for you. If you’re an event manager, seek pre-show publicity in publications focused on your target audience to drive interest. Ask editors in advance if they plan to attend the show, and schedule meetings with them to personally answer questions and deliver your press kit. If the show organizers have a press room, leave copies of your press kit there for any editors you won’t be able to see personally. Favorable coverage can translate into more persuasive marketing messages for your next appearance.