How to Maximize Your Tradeshow and Event Investments

May 6, 2016 James Thomas

CMOpicks_20160506_TradeshowHitting the road isn’t just for spring-breakers. This time of year also officially marks conference season. In the last few weeks, we’ve been to MarTech and Oracle Modern Marketing Experience. Next up: Marketo’s Marketing Nation Summit, IBM Amplify and the SiriusDecisions Summit. Phew!

While traveling to warm locations is always a plus, the reason so many marketers include tradeshows and events in their strategy is because they can be one of the most efficient ways to increase brand awareness and achieve demand generation goals.

Just like any other marketing program, the best results come with a strategic, measurable approach. After all, if you’re spending thousands of dollars to exhibit at a tradeshow or sponsor an event, you have to understand your return on investment. I’ve collected five ideas for getting the most out of your tradeshow and event marketing strategy.

Understand Face-to-Face is Special

“Many companies think that tradeshow marketing simply means taking a booth, some marketing collateral and a few samples to the convention center. Wrong. Companies need to fully understand why they attend tradeshows: it’s not just to stand around in the booth handing out pamphlets. It’s to actively engage attendees, capture leads, and maybe even meet with prospects that you’ve already scheduled appointments with. There’s more to this than meets the eye, so you’ll need to do your research and strategize well in advance to ensure success.” – Read more at Business 2 Community.

Plan in Advance

“Planning for a tradeshow should begin in right earnest after you have registered for it. Plan it strategically, accounting for every aspect of the event – pre-show, during-show and post-show. The plan should be aligned with the goals and objectives of your business in general, and with the specific objectives with regards to the tradeshow in particular.” – Read more at MarTech Advisor.

Use Time Wisely to Create Connections

“One of the greatest gifts you’re given at a tradeshow is time. When an attendee approaches you, you know you have their undivided attention and the opportunity to educate them in a way that is very unique to marketing. Whereas ads are typically just glanced at and press releases skimmed, at a trade show you have your target audience right in front of you. If you use your time with them wisely, you could not only introduce them to your product or service but also educate them on what makes your company different (your unique value proposition) and why they should do business with you.” – Read more at Inc.

Get Analytical

”Many b-to-b marketers are still connecting the dots between the work they’re doing in their event organizations and the impact on sales. Tania Weidick, Senior VP-Experiential Marketing at Oracle, can tell you where, when and how every prospect in the sales funnel is engaging at her events. ‘We monitor before events, and then we’re able to target customers who have expressed interest in certain topics online. And we do the same afterwards to see if we increased engagement. And it’s fascinating. We can track a company—how many people they send each year, whether it’s a different mix of people, what those people do online after the event, before the event, in preparation, or as follow-up.’” – Read more at Event Marketer

Use KPIs to Measure an Event’s Success

Raja Rajamannar, MasterCard’s CMO, says “MasterCard’s marketing campaigns and events are measured against building the brand, business and differentiation. ‘We determine a customized set of KPIs based on each program’s objective,’ says Rajamannar. ‘For example, our sponsorship of the 2016 GRAMMYs primary KPIs included driving brand preference and World MasterCard awareness, and we successfully achieved positive lift in both categories in the L.A. market.’” – Read more at MarketingLand

The post How to Maximize Your Tradeshow and Event Investments appeared first on Allocadia.

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