Wednesday, November 20, 2013 By Michael Hart
Understand your market, analyze it constantly and then act on what you’ve learned. That seemed the lesson to be shared at Expo’s Tradeshow Marketing Bootcamp Wednesday, a day before the opening of the Tradeshow 365 Marketing Summit.
“Don’t just send out a million e-mails and hope to get three registrations,” said Access Intelligence Aerospace Events Show Director Lindsey Fuller at the beginning of the daylong pre-conference session on attendance marketing.
Instead, use the information you have available to you to decide on the best possible marketing plan, then monitor and tweak it as you get closer to your event.
Here are some of the takeaways from the boot camp Fuller and Access Intelligence Vice President of Events Jenn Heinold led at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on Wednesday:
• When you deliver messages to your potential audience, make them meaningful. “Don’t get caught up in the hype,” Fuller said, “don’t get caught up in the buzz.”
• Do everything you can to understand your market: Read all the pertinent industry publications, join online communities, attend competing events, ask questions, talk to exhibitors and survey past attendees.
• Take the time to build a marketing plan. Create an action calendar that begins almost as soon as the last show ends with a checklist of things that have to be done, deadlines attached to each one and a project manager for each task.
• Put everything you want and hope for into the plan, then scale it back in line with the budget and resources you know you will have available. “Anybody can be a good marketer when they have a lot of money,” Heinold said. “The trick is to be good when you don’t have an unlimited budget.”
• After you have a plan, reassess it constantly throughout implementation: Know which e-mails are being read, watch tracking codes and notice when people abandon the online registration system.
• Frequently (maybe every week) apply the “gut check”: Take a step back and see how you’re performing against where you want to be. “If your numbers aren’t there,” Fuller said, “you’ve got to start putting new things in.”
• Analyze last year’s registration reports and see what they tell you about what you should do this year.
• Build your registration system by “channeling your inner consumer marketer”: Put the highest-priced packages at the front and the add-ons at the end.