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Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Make Your Appointments Before The Event

One of the things that see a quite a bit is the fact that many exhibitors just show up and hope people will come to their booth and buy their products or services.  This is such a missed opportunity if you don’t take advantage of the fact that you are giving your customer a chance to meet face to face and experience your conversation first hand.

I try to make as many appointments wit all my contacts that I can. This helps me set a good schedule before the event and sets out my time.  I can stay on track that way and make sure I get the biggest bang for my buck.  There is also another underlying thing that happens, people talk about you and the fact that you will be at the event.  Many of the people that you make appointments with will talk about you to your friends, your competitors and others in your industry. You ge4t seen as the expert or as the person in the know about what is going on at the event.  You are seen as the person that they need to know and meet or compete with on the floor.  This increases your stock exponentially.  Make your contacts now and get your calendar set before the show and you will see great benefits.

Publishing Recaps Of Your Event

One of the things that is becoming common in the new world of new media is many companies are now publishing blog posts about their experiences at your convention of trade show.  Many companies are now blogging and they have Facebook pages that they are using to publish articles about your convention, your trade show and event the meeting they attended.  These articles, photos, and conversations can be re-purposed in recap posts.

Recap posts are feedback and review of attendee experience, exhibitor experience and sponsor experience.  These can be some of the best advertising for your event as it is generally not a biased opinion of how well you did in your planning, or your organization of that event.  You can also thank those that are writing about you by recognizing their blog post by putting it in a gathering of those posts in a single post on your own company blog.

Finally, by finding and listening to the content that is being generated, you can also get that valuable feedback that I discussed yesterday.  Feedback and reviews written are great opportunities for find out what people that how you did.  Publish they good bad and the indifferent and then follow that up with your own review and feedback of what you think went well and the things you intend improve on in the next event or show.

Media Distribution From The Show Floor

With the ever increasing media distribution channels and now the many citizen journalists your show floor needs to adapt to meet the needs of today’s new media.  The new media I am speaking of is the attendees themselves. Many of them are now producing their own media, through blogs, podcasts, video and photos.  They are now the new media replacing perhaps the more traditional media that we as convention organizers have been keeping in our planning for our events.  We have sent news release after news release to the more traditional folks trying to get them to run a story on their news sites or to do a quick story about how their viewers, readers or listeners can find out how to attend.

Now we need to figure ways to make it easy for the attendees themselves to have a way to make media on the show floor. We are now seeing many step and repeat back drops for people to do impromptu interviews of experts or speakers and other attendees.  Are you making these types of interviews happen by providing a place for this new media to distribute their product?  If you are not making it simple for the attendee citizen journalist to have a place to make their new media you are missing a most important distribution channel for your event right on your show floor.

Photo via ShashiBellamkonda

Is Your Convention Hyper-Local?

It is one of the new catch phrases of the year, “How Do I Make My Business Hyper-Local?”  It is often asked and rarely understood.  Businesses everywhere are going global with their reach as they branch out to areas only now offered as a result of the Internet and Social Media.  They are finding new ways to reach the masses and finding ways to cats a wider net to garner more customers.  This is a great new phenomena that is taking hold and will be a new way of doing business for years to come.  Is this a good thing?  I think it is a great thing, but not at the cost of dealing with the customers in your own backyard.  Are you losing the customers in your backyard?

So many times we are seeing that conventions are growing at leaps and bounds as a result of their newly found reach using tactics that allow them to market to a whole new audience.  They love to talk about getting attendees now from other places in the world and from across the globe, but what they are failing to understand is that they are also forgetting the people right there in their own backyard.  The Internet not only allows you to have a greater reach, it also allows you to drill down within the local communities to find those attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and others right in your own backyard.  Take some time to research not only that customer on the other side of the world that you can now communicate with, but find that customer right on your own street that has been there the whole time.  You will increase your reach even farther just but seeing what is right in front of you.

Portable Displays For People On The Move

I talked about it becoming convention season in the last post and that means it is back to setting up and tearing down your exhibit booth space.  If you are a small business it means probably getting the most bang for your buck in the area of a display that is easy to set up can be done with only one person and can be checked in as luggage when you travel.  I have been looking around recently at some of the display companies because I too will be needing to get a display booth that is for people on the move.

I spend about one week a month in the first six month of the season going to a couple of large shows and then a few small events and then a final large one before going in to work mode.  I am always looking for ease of use.  There are many companies out there that offer a portable display that is easy to set up and can make your company look professional and certainly won’t break the bank.  In today’s economy, the latter part of that equation is a must.  You can’t spend a whole bank account of your marketing budget only to not be able to recover that cost on the road.  I am actually in the market for a portable display that will fit nicely and look professional in the 10 x 10 booth space or in the corner of a small event.  Portable displays are a great asset and if you find a company that provide this service let me know I would love to speak to them.

Do Your Convention Promotional Items Fit The Audience?

Let’s face it giving out shot glasses with your logo on it is a cool giveaway item perhaps unless you are an exhibit booth at the alcoholics are us convention.  You have to make sure the promotional item is an item that is memorable to the audience you are giving it to and it need to make some common sense to the people that take it home.  I am about to gear up for a large convention for people in the social media world.  I like to get something in their hands that can make an impact and something that they may also have a good use for and not something that ends up chewed up by the family dog and never identified with again. Yes, that is a true story actually, the person told me later something to the idea that, “my dog ate it.”  That was not my idea of a good promotional item.

My promotional items are business cards to the next time they think of me. If it is something they will use later, they will remember where they picked it up and hopefully it will have my name or company name associated with it.  I still remember an ice cream scoop my parents used for years that had a company logo on it.  I can never scoop ice cream without thinking about that corner store.  This year I am thinking of giving out lip balm with my logo on the side.  The convention is in Las Vegas and whenever I go to a show there, I always need lip balm due to the desert location of the event.  I need to match the product with the user and they in turn will hopefully look back and remember me!  Does anyone know where I might find a good promotion item company to use?  Next up a trade show display booth I must shop for!

Are Your Speakers Promoting Your Conference?

One of the things I do quite a bit is speak at conferences around the country.  I use speaking as a way to help promote my business because I am seen as an expert or a thought leader by presenting on topics within my industry. I try to help promote my speaking at events by sending out a number of messages on Twitter and letting my community on Facebook know where I will be speaking, and I generally try to get people to know where I will be and where they can find me.  It is good business to promote yourself through speaking.

What I don’t see often enough is speakers that promote the shows that they are asked to speak at on a large scale.  It is a win win situation when asked to speak at a conference.  You get the chance to be seen as the expert and the conference gets your content to provide to their attendees.  The latter part of that statement is the most important, the attendees to the event.  You can help the conference by getting people in the seats.  Many would argue that is is a responsibility to help the show organizer to get people to come to the show if you will be there speaking.  If you are not selling yourself and the conference you are not promoting well.

If you have a website advertise the upcoming show on space that tells your community about the conference.  When commenting on blogs about your topic, tell people where they can go to register for the event. Have a Slideshare account?  Make sure you upload your power point presentation.  All of this can help your presentation and help the event where you are speaking.  Bottom line is if you are asked to speak, do your part to help promote the conference to make it a success.  If the show is seen as a success and you helped make it work, you will be asked back for future conferences to be seen as the expert in your field.  It is good business.

Photo via Daveness_98

Email Marketing Your Trade Show or Convention

I was having a discussion with a colleague the other day about using email marketing as a way to get the word out and help get information to a customer.  I am still a child of email myself and I check that usually before I get my coffee in the morning.  A recent study reported by Mashable indicates that the next generation may be checking Facebook before they have their coffee, but I for one stick with the basics and go through email.

I continue to receive email updates from conferences and trade shows I have attended but for the most part, they smaller shows only send out a few updates a year and those are usually centered around events such as a call for speakers, or a sale of early bird tickets or other bigger announcements.  I think that is a poor use of email and newsletters.  Email is a great way to get up to speed year round and keep things fresh in the minds of your attendees, exhibitors and sponsors.  It is a great tool for helping you garner more sponsors in fact if they think you will be promoting them all year.

There are many email services out there and none of them are head and shoulders about their competitors.  I like to see a company that provides good analytics and one that allows you to customize your emails easily.  I know that some of the companies out there even have the ability to integrate with your blog and other social networks which is a nice touch.  Are you using email as a way to market your event?  How many emails is too many versus how many are too little.  I like to think that once a month I should be seeing your event show up on my radar and as we get close to your event you should get out as many as one per week.  What has worked for you in the past?

5 Tips For Planning Events For A Benefit

It seems these days that everyone is trying to help the planet and benefits are being planned all over to help the victims in Haiti, to help save the planet from the BP oil spill in the gulf. Last night was no different as I spent the evening at the Fox Theater in Boulder, Colorado, listening to music at a planned benefit to help the people in the Gulf area at an event called The Gulf Coast Benefit.  The event is to help the those hurt by the oil spill in the gulf.  The organizers tell us their goal:

The organizers have created an ambitious goal: Gather music venues around the country to donate ticket sales on July 1st and create an online giving platform that encourages donations to the relief efforts. The fundraising goal is set to $100,000, which will be directed to our nonprofit partner the Gulf Restoration Network, (http://www.healthygulf.org), which provides assistance to the people, wildlife and wetlands affected as well as advocacy work throughout the Gulf Coast.

This is a drop in the bucket for the amounts needed to help that we will hear about for the area.  Many people are traveling to the gulf coast now to see the problems there and to see how they can help.  I suggest you give to the people at the Gulf Coast Benefit to help those victims of the terrible accident.

If you are planning on your own benefit, here are some quick tips to help your event be a success.

  1. Community: Get your community of friends involved.  We all, have a larger community these days with our friends on Facebook and our followers on Twitter.  Get them to help you with your event.
  2. Businesses: Many businesses are themselves seeking some help in this economy but they do have ways of helping you with services or products they sale and they can provide you with what they can.  Look to local businesses that might want to ass some “cause marketing” to their efforts.
  3. Venues: Many venues are looking for ways to get their message out and to get people to notice them.  Many of them will donate their facility to get the exposure and to make a difference.  Find a facility that might want to partner with your benefit.
  4. Advertise: If nobody knows of your event you need to get the word out.  Many businesses will help you with this and in addition leverage your community as I mentioned above.  Get the word out and your event will raise money and be a success.
  5. Fun: This is an opportunity for you to have some fun doing what you do well, planning events.  Take this opportunity to have some fun and to show everyone how well you can plan.  This might be out of your normal planning process so try some things you wouldn’t normally try on your own or for a client.

There is a non-profit organization out there that wants and needs help.  Many of them have no way that they can plan events on their own and need the help of meeting planners and event planners.  Help an organization today!

Why Do I Want To Be A Sponsor?

This is a question every conference, trade show, meeting and convention planner needs to ask themselves when getting ready to make that pitch to a prospective sponsor.  Why do they want to give you money to be a part of your show?  If the answer is not obvious, perhaps you need to be prepared to make it more obvious.

Many companies out there are hurting right now in this economy so they are beginning to tighten the belts of the budgets in the marketing and sales area and your convention may be the first place they want to cut.  Are they making a mistake? Probably, if they have the opportunity to make a sale or two by being a sponsor of your event.  You need to provide them with the information about quality leads, about why their brand needs to be aligned with your event and the return on their sponsorship investment.  If you can provide a good reason why they should be sponsoring your event then it should be an easy enough sale.

When going to the sales call, map out why each particular sponsor should be a part of your event.  Make it easy for them to understand and make sure you provide all the information they need to sell it on their end.  If you can make it easy for them to sell, your sale will be much easier.  I have found a number of sponsors for events just because I have made it easy for them to get approval to spend the money.  If you make it an easy job for all, then we all want the easy job to be on our plate.

If you would like to be a sponsor here on our blog or on the Conventions.net site I can provide many reasons for you to want to be a part of our sites.  Contact me.

[photo via fifa4fans.de]