drupa 2012 is less than 50 days away, and over 1850 exhibitors are busy gearing up for one of the landmark events in the global printing calendar.
If you’re exhibiting, have you really covered all bases when it comes to your communications strategy for the show?
Attending a trade show is a major investment in brand building and customer engagement. Inevitably, lots of time and energy goes into choosing a good location, designing an eye-catching stand, and of course considering what to exhibit and how to show it off effectively.
But with so much at stake over a short period of time, well planned communications around the show is vital. Based on our experience of supporting clients at major international trade exhibitions, there are three key communications phases for any exhibitor to consider to be sure they get the best return on investment from attending.
Building awareness of your brand is your biggest priority, to make sure you’re on the ‘must-see’ list for visitors. To get your message out you need to use the whole marketing mix; PR, direct marketing, advertising, social media, all of which should drive people to exhibition-specific web content. And make sure that the marketing collateral you will have on site is consistent with that message.
The emergence of online communications channels and social media means that promotional opportunities exist right up until the opening day of the show, so even if you’re worried that you’re behind the curve with this, it’s not too late to take action to highlight your presence at drupa 2012.
Once you’re on site your priority is to connect with customers and prospects, fill your sales pipeline, gather leads and make sales. But you should also take the opportunity to meet journalists who can build your brand by reporting on your products in their market context, and companies who could offer you complimentary technologies or new channels to market.
You need to prepare for this phase now by making sure your executives are media trained, and are well prepared for all the questions they may be asked – including those they may not want to answer!
Don’t lose momentum when the show is over. Keep up a conversation with your prospects via direct marketing and social media, send them valuable content – everything to put your brand front of mind when investment becomes a priority. If necessary review your proposition and message to the market. Take time to develop an integrated communications strategy that will sustain interest in your business until the next event.
If you’d like to know more about boosting your ROI from exhibitions, email me here.
And look out for the AD Communications team’s regular drupa-related blogs and tweets between now and the show.