Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Major American Tradeshow Organizors executive conference in New York City. The session was wonderfully interactive and tremendously rewarding, so I thought I’d share with you some of the concepts I believe all tradeshow organizers should be embracing as they market their events.
Embrace consumer momentum
As your attendees return to their office after attending a trade show, their enthusiasm and excitement begins to wane. Your best chance to secure their attendance for next year is in the weeks immediately following the event. It’s also the best opportunity to enable them to share the learnings and the value your event delivers with others in their organization.
Ask yourself what you are doing to get more people from the same company to come to next year’s show?
Take a content-first approach to attendee acquisition
You are sitting on a content gold mine. Every attendee, exhibitor, and speaker has a story to tell and value to add to your industry and the audience you serve. Focus your efforts on capturing a year’s worth of content at each event so you can continually remind your constituents how valuable your events are. You must think more like a media company than an event organizer if you’re going to grow attendance in the future.
What high-quality, relevant, content are you creating and distributing week in and week out?
Focus on getting your content closer to your attendee’s universe
You can no longer rely on your website as the only content distribution channel for that information you create. iTunes, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, SlideShare, and even industry blogs are closer to the forefront of your attendee’s daily content consumption habits.
What are you doing to build a focused, organized, and concerted effort to build relationships in the places your attendees spend their time?
Break down your audience’s interests
You can’t be everything to everyone all the time. If you want to be more successful acquiring new attendees and exhibitors more often, you need to embrace fractal marketing. Divide and subdivide your audience’s interests until you find a small enough audience where you can focus your content to ensure its relevance 100% of the time. But build an audience big enough to be worth pursuing.
What content are you creating and who exactly is it for?
As a show organizer you must develop a longer-term digital relationship with your constituents.
Where are you going to start?