Trade show professionals are uniquely remarkable individuals – combining expertise in strategic planning, project management and operational execution to flawlessly produce events of great scope and magnitude, year in and year out. Most of these forward-thinking, hard-charging, results-driven individuals, however, are probably neglecting one not-so-obvious step in the annual planning process: setting a New Year’s resolution for their trade show.
While January 1 may not fall precisely in line with the show cycle, the renewed energy and focus the new year brings makes it an excellent time to reflect on recent successes, areas for improvement and opportunities for innovation and creativity in the months to come. Here are a few trade show marketing resolution ideas from mdg‘s team that will, hopefully, inspire yours.
I will better integrate my tactical plan.
Digital, email, direct mail, mobile… you’re the star performer in a fierce juggling act. Every year, you evaluate the various strategies and tactics that will contribute to your trade show success story—but when is the last time you truly integrated them? Freshen up your trade show marketing plan by taking the time upfront to evaluate how these different tactics feed into your overall goals. Then, as needed, revise the tools and technologies, timing and/or budgets to reflect your objectives so that everything is working together around a single, cohesive strategy.
I will respect my website data.
Thanks to online analytics tools, you probably have an enormous amount of data about your website at your fingertips. Use it! As tempting as it can be to let those three or four impassioned phone calls your customer service reps received drive your decisions, choices based on data will almost always prove more successful in the long run than those based on anecdotal evidence.
Web Developer and UX/UI Specialist
I will market event content as early as possible.
For most of us, there is a direct correlation between having content available to market and overall attendance. A high percentage of potential attendees use content as a key part of the justification toolkit, even though they may not all end up participating. Best practices suggest having content complete as early as 5-6 months before the event. Today may just be the perfect day to take your education program manager/content team to lunch.
Owner and Live Event Specialist
I will prepare my data for database marketing.
Is your data clean? How do you use it? If your answers are “kind of” and “mass marketing,” you’re missing out on the power of a robust, de-duplicated, segmented database to drive informed decisions, increase event participation and reduce costs. Who are your best attendees? Who are your next attendees? They may not be who you think. Superior events rely upon database marketing, and database marketing relies upon clean data.
Database Marketing Manager
I will focus on internal communications.
Though often overlooked, strong internal communication is vital for event brands. Before executing a campaign, take the time to perform an internal communications audit to ensure your entire team is aligned behind the pillars of your organizational and/or event brand. When internal communications are working well, the message will be clear to your external audiences.
Public Relations Director
We’d be remiss if we failed to acknowledge that, yes, most New Year’s resolutions are quickly broken. The good news about these decrees, however, is that simply making progress toward any one could significantly enhance the attendance, engagement and/or bottom line associated with your next event.