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Launches, networking events, and trade shows are all live events that should make up a significant portion of an annual marketing plan. While online marketing increases visibility and reach, the occasional live appearance gives your brand the opportunity to develop some real-world legitimacy. It’s also your best chance to get face-to-face, convincing potential customers and partners alike of your value in your own words. But you have to do it right if you want it to be the brand building experience that it should be.
Having a great visual brand is an essential part of making a success of a live event. Especially at trade shows, industry or networking events, where attendants are likely to be unable to find you amongst your competitors if you’re not able to stand out. Investing in branded booth materials and some dazzling AVs makes you a lot more likely to stand out. Some even take a more sensory approach to standing out by offering free food like mints or even cotton candy or cookies at their booth. The most successful approach for positioning yourself at a live event is to think about placement. The closer you get to an entrance, the more foot traffic you’re likely to see. The same goes for trying to get a position closer to some of the more major attendants that will definitely get their fair share of attention.
Use the right people, use them right
Not everyone is meant to represent the business at a live event. You’re looking to build leads, make partners, and close sales. To that end, If your business has any salespeople, they might be the first and best in line to join you at the event. The most enthusiastic brand ambassadors in the company can also help. But you can help them do their job better by helping them stand out. Name tags and silicone wristbands let you stamp the brand on the individual and make it easier for others to identify them as a spokesperson for the brand. This is even more important if you’re hosting your own event or launch. You need to train your attendants to find people that haven’t been spoken to by a representative yet, but you also have to make it easier for people to approach them by making sure it’s clear they represent the brand.
Don’t forget to follow up
When it’s done well, your attendance at a live event gives the business plenty of material to follow up on and keep working with for weeks. For one, photos, videos, and conversations can be used as inspiration for content. Whether it’s just highlighting some of the best moments of your time at an event or its talking points raised in a conversation to make a blog post exploring a part of the business that your target market appears to be interested in. Don’t forget to follow up with any leads you made or people you talked to. Weigh them, considering who is most likely to be valuable to the business. Those who are most valuable, give them a call or carry on the conversation you started through an email, offering a meeting. If they’re less likely to lead to any gain, at least send an email thanking them for taking the time to talk to you. You never know if that little nudge of good will might make them suddenly more valuable. Either way, it’s a nice, friendly touch that adds to your brand.
When the tips above are used, your business is more likely to make an immediate impact, to stick in the mind of the attendant, and then capitalise off an event that’s gone well. Live events have a great potential to lend the business a professionalism and an air of prestige that other marketing methods just can’t offer. Don’t ignore them.