The Definitive Guide To Data-Driven Trade Show Marketing

A lot goes into making a trade show a success – right from planning to booth designing, everything should fall into place for you to nail it. While you may have been doing all you could to make the most of every trade show, did it ever occur to you that you could probably get more out of it if you knew exactly what the audience wants? No? Well, it should have, but then, there’s always the next time.

 

Data-Driven Marketing For Trade Shows

Trade show marketing is supposed to be a two-way street, where the audience tells you what they want, and expect you to deliver, and for you to hit the bull’s eye, you must first unlock the information they share. Here’s why it’s a big deal:

  • Your audience would, of course, prefer a highly targeted and personalized message, and if you were to send one, back in the day, it would have taken some digging. Luckily for you, that’s not the case anymore. The information or data they share is easier than ever to interpret, and guess what, you need not be a statistician or a data expert to figure it out. If not for any other reason, data, at least for its ease of interpretation, should have found its way into your marketing strategy by now. Give it its rightful place!

 

  • What could also encourage you to embrace data, if you haven’t already, is the easy availability of insights. With social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook giving you access to what the marketing experts prefer to call “integrated analytics”, it’s time you get to know your audience better. The analytics, if rightly used, could be your key to fueling a conversation or better still, measuring the impact of your social media strategy on the whole.

 

Time For Some Result-Oriented Planning

With the right kind of data at your disposal, it is not only possible to add that personal touch to the message you deliver but to gear up for your next show as well. It’s a win-win! You could start off by keeping tabs on the latest trends – what it is that the audience likes to talk about these days – if they and you were to engage in an engrossing conversation online, what it is that might catch their fancy? Make your move, and when you are done, do use the analytics to your advantage to see what worked and more importantly, what didn’t.

 

There’s More To Engagement Than Meets The Eye

You may have been successful in making the audience stay long enough for you to finish the elevator pitch at a previous show, but how do you plan to spark their interest in the future? Again, that’s where data-driven trade show marketing comes into the picture. Whenever you engage with the audience online, you get your hands on what could possibly lay the foundation of a rather long-lasting relationship. For instance, if you were to find out that your audience sits up and takes notice every time you share some visual content on Twitter, you could optimize your marketing strategy right away, ensuring that none of your messages fail to deliver the results they are expected to.

The data is up for grabs, mostly for free and at other times, at an incredibly low cost; it’s up to you, whether or not you would want better audience engagement. Don’t settle for less when there’s no reason to!  

 

The Importance Of Visual Elements While Branding Your Booth

Remember that old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words?” There’s a reason why it hasn’t really sunk into oblivion. And you, as an exhibitor, must not forget what a picture can do, for all you know, there’s always a next time – a show where a picture or two could be the difference between success and failure, just saying!  

Visual Elements And Branding Of Trade Show Booth

Words do have their impact, no doubt, but a picture sticks around for longer. So if you opt for a couple of visual elements at your next trade show, chances are that the audience would be much more receptive to what you have to say. In fact, if you were to pass on handouts or leaflets, which would anyway go into the trash can, you could never get them to pay attention. On the other hand, if there are some pictures to look at or videos to watch, they’ll be all eyes (and of course, ears).

Why Are They Important?

Believe it or not, but your audience is always on the lookout for something new, and if you don’t offer a breath of fresh air, somebody else would, and well, they won’t mind making a detour. They are done the reading. They won’t anymore. If you want them to stay past the elevator pitch, give in. And it’s not like they have an aversion to information. They don’t. They are more than open to the idea of learning more about you, your brand and the products you offer. That being said, they don’t have the time to. So either you make a move, or they will.

What Are The Benefits?

You mean apart from the fact that your booth would be a quite a crowd puller?

  • Visual elements resonate well with the audience. They get your message loud and clear and find out all there’s to know about your brand.
  • These elements help increase your brand recall value. What the audience gets to see stays with them for a while. So if you were to give them a follow-up call a day after, you wouldn’t have to try too hard to jog their memory.
  • Pictures, videos, and graphics are known to bring out emotions, laying the foundation for trust – something that every brand vies for, don’t you?
  • A trade show can get pretty competitive, and you have no choice but to stand out. You can, but only if you have a story to tell. And that’s exactly what visuals do for you. Did we tell you they are great storytellers?
  • The right kind of graphics and a well-thought-of placement strategy will leave the audience asking for more. They’ll either happily give your their email IDs, hoping to get more information in their mailbox or head straight to your website. It’s a win-win!

What Kind Of Visuals Work?

While it may be tempting to put together some moving pieces and throw in random colors, there’s more to getting your visuals right than meets the eye. Make no mistake, unless you know your audience, you won’t be able to step into their shoes, failing which your visuals would simply fall flat, causing you more harm than good.

  • Hit the bull’s eye – Even if there’s no supporting content, the visuals should stand out, on their own. A picture of your team, your logo, any of your bestsellers, anything that warrants a glance and doesn’t take long for the audience to connect the dots.
  • Weave a story – Tie one element to another, and make sure there are no loose ends.
  • Get your facts straight – Comic sans is a big no-no if you are a pharma company. Know your own business, before the audience gets to know you.

And yes, like everything else that has anything to do with marketing, visuals too should pass the litmus test for you to know that you have not been using the wrong ones all this while.

Is Automated Event Registration Worth Its While, Or Good For Nothing?

Event management is no piece of cake; if anything, it’s quite the opposite – there’s a lot you must do, but chances are that you won’t have enough time to do it all. And that’s when automated event management comes into the picture – it takes the burden off your shoulders and gives you time, and time is money, right?

Word is that automation is on the rise; exhibitors from all over the world are using it to their advantage.
And not just shows, marketing automation has paved way for successful roadshows and award ceremonies as well.

But the question is: is it yet another flavor of the week, or is automation here to stay? More importantly, what good could come out of it, if you do plan to give it a shot for your next trade show? Let’s find out.

It’s Not New!

Automated event registration is not something you would have heard of for the first time – it’s been there for quite some time now. Seasoned event professionals across the globe swear by it, and maybe rightly so. After all, it does help you maximize engagement, and with correct implementation, could boost the event attendance by up to 20%. And don’t you agree that the task of registering guests and passing on the necessary information to them could take ages, and even worse, it’s a quite a mundane one, to begin with? Well, if that’s a yes, here’s some good news. Cloud-based registration tools could offer you a much better experience. So, it’s a win-win!

Or Is It Now?

You may have chosen the best available online registration software for your next show, but one thing’s for sure – it would warrant some management – quite less, agreed, but definitely not nil. Oddly enough, if you have your hands full, even that little work would add to your woes, thereby defeating the very purpose of embracing automation in the first place. Here’s what may be a deal-breaker:

– You’d still have to deal with enquiries; can’t let them go

– Not all your delegates may be as tech-savvy as you are. And if they are not, be ready to hand-hold and take them through the sign-up process

– And what about payments? Card or invoice, either way, you could land in the soup!

Is there a way out?

Thankfully, There Is!

Find an expert, one who could help you get the most out of automated event registration, but do make sure that the expert or partner you outsource to, does justice to the job. Here’s a checklist that could come in handy:

– Is the software easy to use? Or would the attendees have a hard time comprehending it?
– Is an instant confirmation on the plate?
– Are the fee payments being handled? Or you need to take care of them?
– Does it offer value for money? Is it only about registration or could the attendees also expect their travel and accommodation needs to be taken care of?
– What about social media? Is some kind of integration possible, or is it a big no-no?

The bottom line is that automated event registration could be a game changer, provided you know how to go about it and are able to avert the loopholes involved.

Happy 2018: Embracing the ‘new’ in the new year

Happy New Year 2018 | XS Worldwide

For most, the new year signifies hope and newness. It gives us a socially-accepted opportunity to start fresh and resolve to change for a better future.

However, factually speaking, does the new year really play a role in helping you change?

1st of January is a socially-selected date to mark the beginning of the year. New year date is different in different cultures. However, over the centuries, 1st January has become a universally accepted one. Remarkably, the generations have started perceiving it as the beginning of the time period for transformation.

The social norms have conditioned us to believe that the special day is meant for evolution at some level. We strive to bring a change. But isn’t that what hope is about?  The concept of new is transformative in human behaviour. It triggers several emotions–that of desire, ambition, curiosity and thrill.

We at XS, strive to imbibe newness, change and growth in all dimensions of our work. Growth for us is dependent on change. We choose to change everyday.

Each moment in 2017 has been a new learning: new relationships with new clients, fresh ideas for old clients, shows we participated in for the first time, our regular shows that offered us creative elements of awe.

We stepped away from traditional methods to unlock new areas of insights, perspectives and sources of growth. We were constantly in the process of keeping ourselves at pace with change. In that process, we hardly realised that we are growing.

Here is to 2017 and 2018: honouring the learnings of the old and embracing the new.

To fresh vigour, each day and each moment of 2018 and beyond.

Team XS WorldWide wishes you all a very Happy New Year.

PS: You may want to read about Julius Caesar and his influence in choosing 1st January as New Year’s Day.

Time is money. Here’s how you can save some at a trade show

A trade show can leave you with mixed emotions- you may be happy with the positive response you get, but all that exhaustion might make you wonder why didn’t you have more time on hands? Time is of the essence here, isn’t it? What if you could save some? Yes, that’s very much a possibility. Here’s how:

Play smart with your promotions: Think of promotional material that goes down well with multiple shows. The idea is to avoid repeating the process for every show and putting in extra time and effort. However, be sure to understand your target market and do thorough research on their age group, gender, occupation, and likes and dislikes, so as to create material that they actually want to see.

Qualify your leads while they are hot: More often than not, staffers at the booth send over random leads to those back at the office. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake. Qualifying your leads during the show will not only save your time but also ensure that the sales team gets only those leads that seem genuinely interested. Also, it’s advisable to get hold of a good lead collection system and a badge scanner. The former can help you collect the leads and measure their conversion rate, while the latter can come in handy if you need to keep a record of the attendees’ contact details. A good scanner would forfeit the need for writing down these details, especially for the attendees with no business cards.

Brief your staff before the show: On-site training is a big no-no. Whatever it is that you need to tell your staff – whether it’s reminding them of the basic rules like not to eat inside the booth or chew gum or imparting product-specific knowledge, do it 3-4 weeks before the show. This way you can focus on finishing touches and details when the show actually begins. If you want, you can also monitor the leads generated by each staff member so as to measure their efficiency and decide who all should be accompanying you to the next show.

Go for an easy-to-install design: A lightweight and portable display is like half the battle won. You’ll be able to set it up in no time, and would have some extra hours at your disposal for other important tasks. However, don’t forget the very purpose of your booth design – it is supposed to make you stand out, while clearly conveying your message and showcasing your products and offerings – make sure it does that. And if it’s not one of those self-build kinds, then do check with the designer if they offer storage, installation and dismantle services.

You may or may not have enough time to do everything that we have discussed; it’s better to rather choose those tasks that seem the most important – whatever you choose will save you some time for other things that would have gotten delayed otherwise. That’s a win-win!