So you’ve picked a date, chosen from your shortlist of amazing exhibition venues, and finalised your lists of exhibitors and suppliers. Now, how do you make sure people attend?
A clear and thorough marketing strategy is key when planning an exhibition, in order to ensure you reach as many relevant people as possible and build up excitement for your event.
The strategy should cover what format you’re using - be it emails, social media, posters or a combination of methods, who you’re targeting and what assets you’ll be using. It’s important to diversify your content to keep things interesting, so create blogs, videos and short form posts to engage your audience.
We’ve put together some tips to go alongside your marketing strategy to help you promote your event effectively and ensure you get the best audience for your exhibition.
Due to their size and their multiple moving parts, exhibitions are almost always organised months in advance, with 1 year of planning time on average. This means that you can get the word out early to make your audience aware that the event is happening and get them excited about it.
This will help to build the suspense while also getting a feel for what elements people are looking forward to or don’t want to see, which can help you refine your exhibition through the planning stages.
USE YOUR EXHIBITORS
Once you’ve secured your list of exhibition exhibitors, make sure to encourage each brand to do their own share of marketing. The more people you can advertise to, the more potential attendees you’ll reach, and your exhibitors may have access to followers that are outside of your usual audience.
A range of different exhibitors will also have different voices and approaches which will keep your marketing fresh and interesting - just be sure to set out some general content guidelines and provide them with branded exhibition materials to use.
We know, this is probably a very obvious tip, but even regular users of social media underestimate its powers for marketing. Firstly, those who follow or like your brand wouldn’t be doing so if they weren’t interested in it, so you already have a captive, ready-made audience who would likely attend your exhibition.
Secondly, social media makes it really easy for you to reach out to new audiences who haven't heard of you but would be interested in your event. Join groups, follow hashtags and create engaging, relevant content to expand your reach and make people take notice.
MAKE IT FUN
To keep the excitement levels up in the months before your exhibition, make sure to mix up your marketing to hold your audience’s interest. Reveal photos and snippets of information as the event comes together, and run competitions and giveaways to get your followers involved.
Maintaining a good level of engagement is key, so ask questions, share polls and interact directly with your audience to build a level of connection between them and your brand and make them eager for more.
EMPHASISE YOUR USP
In an industry that has an event for everything, consumers can get tired of seeing the same old format used again and again. Identify at least one thing that your exhibition is doing differently to everyone else, and tell people why that’s so unique.
Whether it’s the way your event incorporates technology, the theme you’ve chosen or the entertainment on offer, emphasise the way your exhibition stands out from the rest and how it offers something your audience will have never seen before.
We can help you add the unique factor to your event with our list of unusual exhibition venues.