According to various historical documents, the first “Trade Show” was The Great Exhibition of May 1, 1851, held at Hyde Park in Central London. The idea at the time was to display the best products in the world for all to see. In the nearly 170 years since, rather than ALL the best products in the world in one show, all the best products and services now have their own shows throughout the year in various cities. Likely you have several Trade Shows this year alone. Have you ever considered making your attendance at these Trade Shows a strategic marketing event? Let us explain what we mean.
It takes a bit of pre-planning. You will need to ascertain which of your customers or clients will be attending any one event. Once you have verified who is attending and accounted for some extra spots for customers or clients who may be late attendance additions, you can make plans to augment their experience at the trade show. Augmenting customers’ experiences has two primary benefits. It is a way to communicate their importance to your organization, and, more importantly, it is a way to keep your brand upfront in their minds and experiences. Here are some suggestions you can use either in part or whole.
Of course, this accommodation requires that your customers or clients are staying at the same hotel. Arranging travel to and from the hotel to the Exposition event gives you dedicated time to spend with your customers or clients, and it gives them time to spend with each other.
Guest baskets, delivered to each attendee’s room, can make a BIG impact. Obviously include branded items of your company, but also include items unique to the city where the events are being held. It’s a personal touch that is sure to remind attendees long after they return home of your company and your commitment to them to enhance their experience.
A DEDICATED EVENT DURING THE EVENT
This idea can be implemented in a variety of ways:
- A Cocktail Party. Choose open time during the schedule of the Exposition and let customers and clients know that you will be hosting cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for a set time.
- A Dinner. Again, choose an open time slot and host your customers or clients at a local, noteworthy restaurant.
- An Excursion. This event may not be available in all cities, but with a bit of research, you may be surprised by what various cities have to offer. How about an evening bus tour with a local guide to show attendees the more noteworthy attractions of the host city? Many historic cities have long histories with the netherworld. How about a late or midnight ghost tour – either walking or bused? Speaking of history, many prominent cities have unique attractions, such as Mt Vernon (George Washington’s home in Virginia), or the Fabulous Fox (Atlanta’s historic theatre) which are also available for tours.
- Karaoke. This option is for those among you who are willing to be a bit more adventurous. If you can’t find a local restaurant which offers karaoke, consider renting space at the Exposition venue and providing the equipment, food, and beverages to host your own. Even the staidest of business-people find karaoke irresistible, and again, it’s a great way to imprint your brand on your customers.
These are just a few suggestions for ways you can create a parallel experience for attendees at your next Trade Exposition. People who attend Expos expect to see and hear all about your business and others; however, it is also an opportunity place your brand front and center in their consciousness. It is also a way to create a bit buzz around your brand. Word will get out about how well your customers or clients are being treated which may send new customers your way.
All these ideas take organization and pre-planning. Here is where we suggest you think again about hiring a strategic marketing Event Planner to coordinate these ideas or any others you may be thinking about. Remember, the Expo is also about you. Rather than having to sweat the details yourself, a skilled Event Planner can organize all aspects of your choices and be on site to troubleshoot any unforeseen complications. Contact Nine88 Events today to hear more ideas about how we can assist you with bringing to fruition an event with an event!