It can be hard to make your presence known at big events. With a seemingly jam-packed event and floor plan can mean that companies, especially the smaller ones, struggle to maximise their presence.
Popular events can create many opportunities for businesses of all sizes to gain more attention and customers. However, some may find it difficult to gain enough attention before and during the event, meaning that smaller companies in particular, often with lower marketing budgets, may find it difficult to fully benefit from the event.
In order to help, here are some of our top tips that we consistently use to succeed:
Before the event
Most of the work put into the event takes place before in order to minimise the stress at the event itself. Although it sounds pretty obvious, people need to actually know you’re there. This is a crucial step to start the process of maximising your presence. Unless you’re company is particularly well known or doing something completely extraordinary, most people won’t know who you are and what you do. Therefore, they won’t be keeping an eye out for you at each event or eagerly waiting for each post on your website or socials. Consequently, it’s up to you to make sure potential customers are aware that you’re attending, where you’ll be and how to book meetings. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do this. For example, a good place to start is to get an events page on your website to let people know about every event you’ll make an appearance at, book meetings or simply get in touch to ask questions or schedule something. Make sure to direct people to this page through things like, social media, email campaigns, or a relevant blog post, for example. Be creative in this to stick out from the crowd.
Another thing to make sure to do before the event is to share news. This doesn’t mean sharing news just for the sake of it. It has to be relevant and interesting, the goal is to make people read it after all! With all this being said, it’s worth keeping an eye out for what you can announce ahead of popular events that you’re attending. Keep in mind though, the preview issues come out about a month before the event itself, which means if you want people to read your news before the event, it may be worth planning ahead and being organised. This is also the case for the event’s daily, which most events have. Therefore, announcing news and sending it in early greatly increases your chance of pick-up. To determine if your press release is worth publishing, ask yourself if you would read it if it wasn’t your news. If you wouldn’t, why would someone else?
All of this pre-event activity will hopefully make customers aware that you’ll be attending. However, meetings still need to be booked. There is a potential for some people to approach you to book in meetings. However, to make the most of your time, you will still likely need to proactively book in meetings. A great way of getting people interested is by directing them to some blog content, recent articles or event case studies. While sending an eblast to multiple potential customers is great, you need to make sure there is a direct personal message, at least for the bigger targets.
During the event
After all the planning before the event, there is still a lot to be done. At the event, you want to make sure to meet the press. Journalists and analysts will be at the event not only to report on what is happening, but also to speak with the movers and shakers of the industry. However, their schedules are often jampacked so you need to give them a reason why they should talk to you and your company and what is unique about what you’re doing. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you always have to give them breaking news. Be mindful, however, that instant coverage isn’t a guarantee, but these meetings can lead to something much more valuable, which is, the beginning of a relationship which quite often leads to you being approached as an expert in the subject. Hopefully, this could lead to more coverage in the long term as you get suggested and introduced to many more people.
It’s also an absolute MUST that you stay organised all throughout the leading up to the event and during it. Being on top of everything is necessary for events, but it can be a challenge. The result of missed deadlines can be higher costs, and missed appointments at the event itself can lead to the loss of potential customers, which is obviously not the ideal situation to be in. But how can we prevent this from happening in the first place? A simple fix that we prefer is a master planning sheet in order to look into all the different elements. We also, on many occasions, use a shared calendar in order to keep the whole teams schedule in sync. It may also be handy to have a booth rota if you’re on a booth, in order to make sure there is someone to talk to potential customers at all times. The last thing you’d want to do is leave your booth alone, potentially losing customers.
After the event
Once the event finishes, you can relax a bit. However, don’t let this stop you from reaching out to the connections you have made, whether press or sales leads. For press, you may have some specific follow ups if they requested specific information. It is, of course, paramount that you keep in touch with any connections you have made, to build up your sales pipeline as well as potential for media coverage.
At Radical Moves, we specialise in the broadcast and satellite industries, and we have the benefit of experience in running show presence for clients in various forms, from managing an entire show to setting up media briefings. If you would like to chat ahead of events for any other questions or to just grab a coffee at an event, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.