With retailers closing left and right, manufacturers are left with little choice in who sells their products. Consumer shows are a great way to get in front of your target audience, but how do you stand out and maximize your event exposure.
Maximizing Event Exposure When You Are No Longer Shiny and New
One of the biggest challenges brands face is the inability to connect with consumers once they are no longer the new kid on the block. When they are new, everyone wants to talk to them, yet now that their sales are better than they have ever been, consumers walk right past them.
It’s never a great feeling to spend a bunch of money on exhibiting at a show and just have people stroll right past. How do you go about maximizing event exposure? Let’s get down to evaluating your situation.
Let’s pretend you are one of our clients that we work with on brand strategy. These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself.
Get out your notebook, grab a latte and let’s dive deep.
- Define your company culture in one-two sentences.
- Who is typically staffing your booth? Is it the same person at each event or a rotation of people.
- What components are part of your booth? List them all out; everything from the floor covering to the banners, products, etc.
- What can people find at your booth?
- Can consumers purchase products from you?
- Are you hosting a giveaway?
- Are you handing out collateral?
- Do you have a call to action within your booth?
- What are you doing to engage consumers?
We are asking you to reflect on these answers objectively. Does anything stand out as something you wouldn’t like as a consumer? This is probably the most important question.
Who is your target audience? Are you like them? Is there someone you can speak to that can give you insight into your audience?
I will give the example of the effervescent millennial who every brand on the planet wants to target. The issue for you is that every brand on the planet wants their attention. How will your brand stand out? Millennials are inherently much more minimalistic than the generation before them. They want simple. They live in small spaces. They have debt spilling out their ears. They are probably vegan/paleo/gf and will tell you about it.
How does your brand relate? As an example a stroller company recently approached us on maximizing their event exposure and we came up with the idea to ignore the stroller. Sure, the stroller would be part of their booth, but the biggest component of their event activation was on activities. Consumers had the chance to win items and experiences that relate to pushing a outdoorsy type stroller which gathered more interest for the stroller than if they had just focused on the stroller. We facilitated collaborative partnerships that were mutually beneficial for the stroller brand, the sunscreen and bug spray company and the sun hat brand. We borrowed some coolness from the Instagram Brands, and by doing so the stroller brand saw a 65% increase in newsletter sign-ups at the event, and an increase in open rates of 30% in their post-event communication.
This leads us back to how does your brand engage with their community, make sales and prove they are human (and not just The Man) when connecting with consumers at events?
Potential solutions are sitting down with your team and reevaluating your event strategy without missing a single detail. This may seem like a daunting task, however when this is done, your team can place metrics into affect that will indicate exactly what your boss wants to hear about it. ROI is subjective when it comes to events.
- You cannot just measure how many people you spoke to onsite.
- You cannot just measure sales on site.
- You cannot just measure sales post-event using a coupon code.
- You cannot just measure site traffic.
- You cannot just measure social engagement.
- You cannot just measure CPMs.
Do you see where we are going with this? ROI is so much more than one of those things, you need to place metrics into place that take into account all of these factors and more. What does your brand place the highest value on, what does your brand care about the least?
With retailers closing left and right, manufacturers are turning to events to reach their audience in the most authentic and direct way possible. Whether consumer shows are part of your marketing strategy or you are a B2C virgin, we are here to help maximize your event experience. Communicating directly to consumers can often times be a daunting experience. We turn to a hands-on approach when working with all of our event partners and brand clients.
On site, we recommend creating an experiential activation for consumers. What are they going to take away after they met you and your team? What are the things consumers want to learn… especially if you have a dry product?
While we cannot giveaway all our secrets, we can share some ideas that you can run with if you want to DIY your game plan.
- High quality promotional items
- Show specials
- Brand partnership – borrow credibility or some cool factor
- Instagram worthy photo moments
- Create a stylized booth that is on brand, but reflective of the audience you are trying to reach
We work with some of the top brands in baby, children’s and lifestyle and one of the most common conclusions we come to is the brands corporate branding and identity is getting in the way of connecting with consumers in a meaningful and authentic way.
We’d love to hear from you about ways your brand has turned around their event strategy.