When it comes to events, measuring return on investment is something that’s often considered retrospectively, assessed only once the venue has closed its doors.
But, with some proper planning, exhibitions and events can go from being a standalone piece of sales activity, to the catalyst for months of marketing collateral and lead generation. To help you get maximum return on your next show, we’ve put together some handy tips to consider.
When planning your event schedule, work out exactly what content can be captured from every aspect. If you’re hosting a panel discussion in your showroom, for example, think about how you might get the most out of it. Could you:
- Commission a videographer to capture the discussion?
- Live stream it on Instagram TV?
- Live tweet soundbites?
- Record the audio for future blog post commentary?
- Book a live illustrator to visually document key talking points?
By thinking about everything upfront, you can ensure the entire activity plan benefits your marketing efforts – not just during the event – but overall.
After a busy exhibit or trade show, it’s good to take time to wind down after a job well done, right? Wrong! Don’t go quiet – now is the time to build on the momentum.
First off, step back and take stock of what marketing ‘ammunition’ you’ve gathered from the event. Refer back to your original plan to ascertain how it can be repurposed to work as hard as possible, for as long as possible. This might include:
- Data – leads/contacts from stand/showroom visitors
- Presentations – talks, panel discussions, Q&As, product launches
- Images & video – documenting key activities during the event
- Industry insights – gathered from external talks/discussions or visitor competitions/surveys
Download The B2B Events Guide: After-show actions to learn more on how these assets can work hard for your business.
In addition to the more obvious content opportunities, you may also find mileage in some of the seemingly mundane post-event activities. Don’t overlook follow-up admin tasks, as they too could yield some marketing gems. This could include:
- Giving thanks – thank everyone who visited your showroom or stand via social media or a mailer. It’s a great way to keep the conversation going and nurture leads.
- Considering a smart survey – invite visitors to fill out a quick Q&A following the event and drop in some questions about their industry challenges. This can generate quality data/insights to fuel blog, social media or even PR content.
- Checking the budget – when balancing the books, make sure everything is noted down and accounted for and you may even have some left over to use for your post-event marketing! Because being organised really does pay off.
Long-tail event marketing
You’ve built momentum, now keep it going. The event has given you a set of building blocks to construct a post-show content marketing plan. Now pull it all together to form the foundations of a longer-term marketing campaign. Map out the content, group into campaign themes, set out a delivery timeline, and stick to it.
If you’d like more advice on planning and executing a successful event strategy, download The B2B Events Guide series here.