According the the gregorian calendar, today is the third day of 2014. Like any other year there is an unusual emphasis on New Year's resolutions. The media landscape is inundate with features on this topic. I have come across some interesting facts. Get this: 25 percent of people abandon their New Year’s resolutions after one week.60 percent of people abandon them within six months. (The average person makes the same New Year’s resolution ten separate times without success.) Now it makes sense why I avoid the word resolution like a plague. Resolution simply does not work. But goals do. By definition goals are active. It gives clarity to the voice within you. Resolution is passive. It is an intention waiting for a plan...(my 2 cents here.)
Know Why...you want to exhibit at events and trade shows
The world is changing from "Buyers' Beware" to "Sellers' Beware". A massive change of hearts and mind from outbound to inbound. Exhibiting at tradeshows is a major outbound effort. It is a good chunk of your marketing dollars. Often, I hear clients saying we want more leads. That is a wrong mindset to have. If gathering leads is your only objective you might as well ditch the idea, because inbound marketing will definitely give you more bang for the buck. However, if you are an idea marketer vying for the staying power of your brand then events and trade shows are your play fields and here are some articles that might interest you.
Know Your Environment, Know the Players
Cannot emphasize this enough. Keep in in mind, each and every venue has its own distinctive DNA. For example the HIMMS Show is very different from the Consumer Electronics Show. It is a good idea to pay a visit to the venues before you exhibit. A recent CEIR report (MC41 – Effective Methods for Visitor Promotion, Part 1: Exhibition Organizers) makes an excellent case for channel organizers to maximize their reach. One channel few organizers use is to work within their venue or convention center to find and market to attendees.
Know Your Audience
“To make our communications more effective, we need to shift our thinking from "What information do I need to convey?" to "What questions do I want my audience to ask?”
― Chip Heath, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Make every effort to understand your audience by conducting exhaustive research on them. Conduct online surveys or focus groups to get a better grasp on who they are and what they want. Know your audience like you know yourself. This knowledge will arm you to orchestrate your trade show production in a very comprehensive fashion.
Become Mobile Minded
As of February 2013, there were 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions, the International Telecommunication Union reported. If you have heard all the raves about Google Hummingbird, you know that you have to find ways to create mobile-first content highliting your event. It is not an option any more. 2014 is the year of smart phones and smart tablets. Consumers are using mobile devices to consume data, conduct transactions, research brands, visit their favorite sites, and read and reply to emails. It is about about time that you get on with the signs of times and optimizine your pre-show campaigns for mobile. This free mobile marketing guide should help you get started.
Since 46% of your web users will be accessing your pre-show, at-show and post show events via mobile, your primary goal this year is to focus your energy in building a responsive website. This free guide about making your website resposive will be a phenomenal tool for you to have.
Accelerate Your Social and E-mail Strategies
While social sites are bound to pop up over the course of the New Year, take control of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Four Square - these are the undisputed kings of social (at least for the moment). Master these platforms that have proven to bring substantial ROI for marketers worldwide.
In conclusion, simply do not exhibit at trade shows if you have no social strategy in mind! Without fail, every single piece of outbound material, digital or otherwise should highlight the benefits of attending your outbound event.