At Creative Chameleon we have extensive experience in providing conference and event support for organisations, from SMEs through to global enterprises, in the UK, Europe and US. Our support can start from the planning and strategy development, right through design, development and delivery of collateral.
Here are six helpful tips to enable your business to maximise its investment at events. The tips in this article focus on exhibiting at events. If you are planning on holding an event or conference keep an eye out for our post about that.
1. Return on Investment (ROI)
Attending an event can require a significant financial investment. Having a clear understanding of your anticipated ROI is essential. Many event planners jump straight to the obvious, “We want to make a large number of sales!”. Attending an event can have many more key performance indicators (KPI), including increased brand recognition, networking, thought-leadership and lead generation. Developing a better understanding of these before you commit is essential to enable you to plan strategy and measure its success.
You need develop a clear understanding of who you will be talking to and ensure your team is armed with the information to be able to have a meaningful conversation with those attendees and log actions. Tying this into your ROI also enables you to guide the conversation towards your objectives, whether that is building a qualified lead or increasing branding recognition.
Understanding the attendance levels and demographics at the event will also enable you to ensure you have the correct level of staffing and a team with the appropriate knowledge.
3. Your Team
Ensure your team has the right level knowledge. They need to be able to talk confidently about the products or services you want to promote.
Brief the team thoroughly before the event, so that they know what is expected and what the objectives are (Point 1). Debriefing the team after the event to help review its performance (Point 5) and improve performance.
4. Stand out from the crowd
You will no doubt be surrounded by other stands and competitors all vying for the attention of the attendees. It’s essential your display catches peoples’ eye and their imagination. Stand location and configuration needs to be considered at an early stage, to make sure you are in an effective location. You don’t need to be lit up like a Vegas casino to achieve high-impact. Some inspiring or insightful wording or enticing messaging will help attendees to want to find out more. It is then your team’s jobs to ensure they back that up with a meaningful conversation.
5. Leave your mark
After you have enticed attendees to your stand and your team has inspired them with an engaging conversation it is crucial to give them something to remember you. Take-away material can centre on your ROI goals, so if you are aiming for thought-leadership ensure you have plenty of relevant whitepapers, for brand exposure come armed with plenty of attractive/useful merchandise.
6. Close the circle
Far too often companies go to a lot of time, effort and expense to attend an event, then don’t take the time to debrief and report on its outcome. It is essential to review your KPIs to enable you to analyse if you successfully hit your ROI.
Then what next? Exhibiting again, using an early-bird incentive, or exploring other opportunities are available. Whichever direction you take, now’s the time to plan, so that your next event builds on the success.