This is a guest post by our own events coordinator, Lori Bainborough.
Three Ways to Keep Your Event Strategy Modern
What does a modern company do differently at events than other companies? Well first of all, they do it with style, with the cloud and out of the box…after all, aren’t you there to get noticed?? I’d like to share a few of the techniques we use to help our event strategy keep up with the times.
Ditch the Paper
We put all of our fact sheets, white papers and brochures in the cloud. So, instead of handing collateral materials that will most likely get trashed, lost, torn and forgotten, we help booth visitors select the materials that are right for them from our online library of goodies. Here, visitors find all of those “about us” brochures as well as our laugh out loud and tear jerking customer spotlights and success stories. They also stumble across videos and presentations – when they’re relevant. My advice? Allow your audience the freedom to wander, paper-free through the show floor, and then when they get back to their hotel room or back to their office, they have the right document(s) in the their inbox. They can print it, share it, read it…all from their computer or mobile device. No fuss. No waste.
Make it Fun
On the same touch screen we use to distribute documents, we also have a big slot machine for folks to play. They can win anything from a $5 coffee gift card to an entry into much bigger grand prize drawing. Since we can customize it, it changes frequently based on our show and current campaign. Thanks to Leading Reach, the company behind the technology, we’ve been able to have more engaging conversations with people in the booth without resorting to those creepy stare-down tactics so many tradeshow exhibitors use these days. (Whatever you do, don’t make eye contact!) The game allows for a bit of eye candy and the attendees almost always begin a conversation with us, instead of the other way around. Brilliant.
Oh, and it also helps that we have cool, trendy booth graphics too. We try to keep up with what’s hot right now and that includes the quick draw! It’s really popping up everywhere: on the internet and in ads, commercials on T.V. and I’m starting to see it onsite at conferences now, too. (Oops! Might be time for an update.)
Quality, Relevant Content and Conversations
Staying modern doesn’t just mean how you look, but also how you talk. You have to make sure you are having conversations that are relevant to your audience. Do your homework. Find out who is the attendee audience. CIO’s? Power users? CEO’s? Marketing? You need to know who is attending so you can speak to them in their language. When someone starts to talk to me with technical jargon my eyes start to glaze over. (I am in marketing after all.) I’m sure my IT colleagues feel the same way about marketing talk. Be sure to know your audience and staff appropriately for each event. It’s a big misconception that you need a sales person at every event. It’s good, but you may need product experts and marketing people too who can relate to your visitors. Don’t assume your sales person can do it all; you may need them to close the deal, but you may need a variety of “experts” to get the party started.
So, to be a “modern exhibitor” you have to have: eye candy, study for the test (aka know your audience) and most of all have your literature in the cloud. It’s the only way to really have it all, all the time. Be prepared to wow, we do.