This is Part 1, for Part 2 click here. When you’re organising an exhibition fair, your success depends on the success of your exhibitors- the amount of valuable leads they generate dictates whether they will return.
Attracting lots of attendees is extremely important, but it’s not always just about numbers. Think about the kind of attendees your exhibitors are interested in. If those attending are not relevant to those exhibiting, it’s disappointing. As an organiser, you have to balance both quality and quantity of visitors.
Your marketing campaign must target the right attendees and effectively communicate the whys of your event. Here are 10 ways to do just that and increase the positive results for all event stakeholders.
6. Strategic Sponsorship
Sponsorship can not only provide much needed additional funds for your trade show, but it can actually increase its credibility. If you partner with a trusted brand that is well known in your industry, it can act as a seal of approval for your event.
You can also benefit from your sponsor’s network for promoting your event. Of course, they’ll be looking for a good deal in return, so make your offer an appealing one.
Ensure that your sponsorship proposal is impressive, it’s worth putting a lot of time into this. If you’re using an event app, make sure you highlight any opportunities for exposure.
7. Hosted Buyer Model
To encourage valuable attendees at your event, introduce a hosted buyer programme. You cover the attendance costs of those buyers and work with selected exhibitors to identify and screen potential attendees.
In return for having their ticket, transport and hotel costs covered, hosted buyers must choose and attend a set number of meetings. This means that your conference will attract people with a genuine interest in your exhibitors. More leads will be generated as a result of this.
Use personalised scheduling on your event app to make it easy for attendees to keep track of their appointments and find stands.
The model was pioneered by event industry show IMEX in the 1980s and has proved a huge success, with the organisers now hosting thousands of buyers every year.
8. Event App Gaming
Gamification can be used to facilitate meetings and encourage movement around the venue.
Set up a scavenger hunt style game on your event app. Set challenges like “Visit an event app provider’s stand”- attendees would have to go to a relevant stand and have a meaningful conversation with a stand member to get the code.
Offer points for completing challenges and award a prize to the top three scorers. This is a more creative way to generate leads, it may also introduce people who would have never met otherwise!
9. Open up attendance to virtual participants
Many people who may want to attend your trade show will not be able to, whether that’s due to date, location or work commitments.
You can make sure you don’t miss out by providing a live content stream. Ensure your exhibitors benefit by requiring virtual attendees to register their interest with a couple of exhibitors the via exhibitor zone of your website. You will also be able to add them to your mailing list for future promotions.
10. Exhibit at other industry events
If your show is a new one, taking a stand at an existing, well-attended industry event can be a great way to raise brand awareness. There will be plenty of networking opportunities with both potential exhibitors and attendees.
Make sure you are honest with the organiser about what you’re promoting and demonstrate how your show is complementary not competitive.
Depending on the scale and scope of your show, you could also consider participation in foreign exhibitions. This will help open your event up to an international attendance, even if they only become remote attendees.