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7steps to exhibit success-GES

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The new mantra for the new millennium? “Plan, Implement and Measure.” Smart trade ...

The new mantra for the new millennium? “Plan, Implement and Measure.” Smart trade
show pros need to step up and take actionable steps that cover each phase of pre-,
during- and post-show planning. This white paper explains the key components required
at each phase, from setting goals and objectives and developing a campaign brief to
tips for getting buy-in and creating well-oiled measurement. Each step is designed to
help you rethink the old and embrace the new by refocusing your trade show energies
so you can take advantage of the opportunities created by the industry’s new reality.

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7steps to exhibit success-GES 7steps to exhibit success-GES Document Transcript

  • 7 STEPS TO SUCCESSFULEXHIBIT CAMPAIGNSTrends, Insights and Ideas for CreatingIntegrated Trade Show PortfoliosTOTO Brand Exhibit Bell Helicopter Exhibit White PaPer Summary The new mantra for the new millennium? “Plan, Implement and Measure.” Smart trade show pros need to step up and take actionable steps that cover each phase of pre-, during- and post-show planning. This white paper explains the key components required at each phase, from setting goals and objectives and developing a campaign brief to tips for getting buy-in and creating well-oiled measurement. Each step is designed to help you rethink the old and embrace the new by refocusing your trade show energies so you can take advantage of the opportunities created by the industry’s new reality.
  • 2 | 7 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL EXHIBIT CAMPAIGNS TOTO Brand ExhibitEmbracing the Strategic Upgrade:The Power of Integrated Trade Show CampaignsWhile few would label the last few years an easy time for the industry, How will you get those people onsometimes change is necessary for growth and recovery. Out of the your list?” Clearly, a new economyadversity of a changing economy, changing marketing departments demands a new approach—anand changing corporate spending comes a new age bringing fresh almost wholesale departure fromopportunities for a smarter and more effective kind of engagement the model that used to rule theon (and now off) trade show floors. The secret weapon: an integrated industry and a full-scale embracingcampaign that begins long before the exhibit is even built. of a new set of rules. “The ‘buildSmaller travel budgets initially played a key role in driving the change. As it and they will come’ theory iscompanies tightened their belts, they limited their spending, sending only gone,” says Rogers. “If you’retheir most qualified, top buyers into the field. As a result, trade shows hoping for that, you’re rolling thehad smaller attendee rosters, but far fewer tire kickers. “A more qualified dice because you, the trade showbuyer blossomed out of that resurgence and more higher level Tier One manager, is ultimately going toand Tier Two buyers came to the shows. So your quality of traffic really be held accountable for what thegot much better post 9/11,” says Mark Rogers, Vice President of Business outcome was at the show.”Development at Global Experience Specialists (GES). Translation: “A holistic, integratedAs the shows got smaller and the quality of attendees skyrocketed, there approach is really about whatalso arose a demand for more efficiency at the show. Buyers had fewer you’re going to do to get the rightdays on the show floor and fewer nights in the hotel, so they began to attendees to your booth,” Rogersstrategize and pre-book their appointments in the days and weeks leading says. “And by that I mean, whatup to the show. As a result, today about two-thirds of attendees already are you doing from the standpointknow which booth they are going to visit before they arrive. of pre-show marketing awareness campaigns.”ges.com | 800.424.6224©2011 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES)
  • 3 | 7 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL EXHIBIT CAMPAIGNS Osram ExhibitTHE PLANNING PROCESSIt All Begins with Upfront Thinking, Strategic Planning and a Group EffortSuccessful trade show campaigns leverage high-performance planning that mix brainstorming, strategic planningand goal-setting. The five parts of best-in-class planning are: STEP 1 Define Your Audience.Before you can execute a trade show program that fills your at-show appointment book with high quality leads, youhave to define who you are trying to attract. There may be three or four different types of audience subsets that youwant to connect with. For instance, Audience A is made up of buyers, Audience B consists of influencers and AudienceC is a group of “soon to be” influencers—junior attendees getting ready to be in the Audience B role someday. STEP 2 Align with Key Stakeholders.The goal-setting brainstorm session should include key stakeholders from sales and marketing, customer serviceand Research and Development who are involved in the show. It’s helpful to have a conversation with eachstakeholder on a one-on-one basis so they know what you’re trying to get accomplished. STEP 3 Set Goals and Objectives.Next, ask yourselves questions that will help you later determine if the show was successful. How many A, B and Cleads do you want? How much product do you want to sell? What type of brand awareness are you trying to drive?What messaging do you want to convey? What is the end result that you want to walk away with after the show?What constitutes success? STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 5 STEP 6 STEP 7ges.com | 800.424.6224©2011 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES)
  • 4 | 7 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL EXHIBIT CAMPAIGNS Bell Helicopter Exhibit STEP 4 Get Internal Buy-In.As a savvy trade show manager, you’re expected to be prepared to drive the discussion. If you have previousanalytics, use them to validate your points. If you do not have any data, develop a log of notes and photos fromshows that corroborate your points for improvement and the expected better results. According to the Centerfor Exhibitors and Industry Research, 79 percent of trade show leads are never followed up. How does yourcompany compare, and what’s the goal for tighter qualification of leads for greater force in follow up? From hereyou can begin to create your business case.Once you’ve developed an initial list of goals and objectives, refine it until there are just one or two keyobjectives—primary and secondary goals—for sales and marketing. For example, sales wants to sell 25 productunits at the show to Audience A (primary) and collect 200 new leads from Audience B (secondary). In anotherinstance marketing wants to promote the company’s recent award for strong customer service among AudienceA attendees (primary), and generate brand awareness among Audience B and C members (secondary).Finally, be sure everyone is on the same page. “Your ultimate goal is to get buy in, so everybody’s involved.Everybody agrees to the end result,” Rogers says. “If everybody agrees to the end result, you can drive moreaccountability and your percentage of success will be much higher”A solid set of achievable goals and objectives not only provides the roadmap for the rest of the campaign, itestablishes a clear line of accountability for the sales and marketing team that will become more importantwhen the program is being measured post-event.If your objectives can’t clearly answer the question, “What specifically are we trying to do?” go back and keep at ituntil they do. STEP 5 Build the Creative Brief.The Creative Brief is a document that gives the creative team the direction it needs to drive creative campaigndevelopment decisions. It gives the creative team the insights and inherent truths about what they believeand what problem your client’s product and brand will solve for them. It also leads to defining what the ONEkey fact, the one message that you want the target to walk away with and remember. This in turn informs thedevelopment of the BIG IDEA.To quote advertising legend David Ogilvy: “It takes a big idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them tobuy your product. Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.” STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 5 STEP 6 STEP 7ges.com | 800.424.6224©2011 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES)
  •  | 7 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL EXHIBIT CAMPAIGNSBelow is a creative brief template you can use for your next trade show or event campaign. Sample Creative Brief: What do we want to happen as a result of the experience? This should explain the overall objectives and goals i.e. what you want your audience to walk away with. Who are we talking to? Identify who you are trying to attract. Reference Step 1: Define Your Audience What insights and truths do we know about the target audience that will help us? This is where your research will play a role. Reference Step 4: Get Internal Buy-In how do they feel about your brand now? How do people perceive your brand? how do we want them to feel about your brand? How you would like to be perceived? What’s the one KEY FACT we want the target audience to remember? Identify a unique selling proposition here for your target audience. Why should they believe your brand? Come up with a good reason why they should go with your brand instead of a competitor. What competitive advantage does your brand offer? What kind of experience will support the KEY FACT? This is where you need to work with the creative team to build a story. The experience will be developed from the questions above. For example - will an interactive experience using technology for your audience work or should you create a more personal approach using other means besides technology? Use the data from your research to determine how to best communicate with your target audience. how will the experience support the KEY FACT? Justify how the experience will sell your product or service. What is the tone and manner to take? Describe the tone and manner the experience will convey. Consider colors, environment, architecture, apparel, booth staff demeanor, and content. For example - friendly, approachable, professional, smart, savvy, witty etc. Deliverables: Itemize what you will need to have the creative team develop. For example - booth (size), email communication, graphics, custom elements, and name tags etc. Budget: Provide a comprehensive budget here and breakdown costs if possible. STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 5 STEP 6 STEP 7ges.com | 800.424.6224©2011 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES)
  • 6 | 7 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL EXHIBIT CAMPAIGNS STEP 6 IMPLEMENTATIONIt’s Time to Execute the CampaignYou’ve done your homework, you’ve honed your goals and messages–it’s objective and provide annow time to bring your idea to life. environment conducive to meeting all your top objectives.Pre-Show Tactics Booth Interactives. Ways toOnce you’ve scrubbed and segmented your list, it’s time to get busy engage attendees and generatecontacting attendees. data should also be developed inEmail. A series of well-timed emails can move attendees from awareness tandem with the exhibit designto appointment in the months leading up to the show. Email blasts can process. These could include iPadsalso help you prequalify customers so that the level of engagement at the or kiosks for data collection, on-event is more customized. A couple of brief survey questions can open up site social media activities, photoa line of communication that transforms a cold show floor introduction activations, touchscreens, games,into a highly personalized attendee experience. in-booth entertainment andMultimedia. Email blasts can also utilize online content to enrich the other activities designed to lurepre-show relationship building experience. You can drive attendees prospects in and then deliver onto microsites or videos that offer sneak peeks at new products or fun an experience that maps back toelements they’ll see at the show. your primary message.Social Media. Depending on your audience’s adaption rate for technology, Measurement Tools. Metricsyou can also push them to your social media sites like Facebook and should take top priority atTwitter and encourage a continued conversation there. this stage. Use your pre-show analysis to determine which dataDirect Mail. It still has an important place in the pre-show mix, too. generation technologies yourMany companies have strict firewalls that will kick your emails back. And audience segments will be mostsome industries show a higher acceptance rate for paper invitations than receptive to, and what specificelectronic. It’s up to you to incorporate these demographic insights into information you want from themyour pre-show audience segmentation and analysis so you know which (for a more in-depth look attactic will work best. measurement, see page 7).Phone Calls. Friendly phone calls may seem old school, but that doesn’t Show Involvement. Other activitiesmean they don’t have strategic value. “It’s easy to lean too much on social that offer great exposure includemedia and email, and forget about that important phone call,” Rogers keynotes, roundtables and sessionsays. “But people love that. They love the sincerity that a phone call presentations—putting yourconveys.” company experts in the spotlightBooth Staff. Finally, don’t forget to train your booth staff before the in the context of the show. Youshow so they can deliver on the key messages set out in the brief. Rogers don’t want to set an excitement/recommends creating a playbook for everyone working the exhibit that engagement level during the pre-lists goals and objectives, messaging points and what is expected. show phase and not continue thatAt-Show Tactics momentum to the at-show booth. Says Rogers: “You want to drive theThe development process for the architecture and graphics that will excitement all the way through thecomprise your trade show exhibit should convey a succinct primary experience. That’s when people really take notice.“ STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 5 STEP 6 STEP 7ges.com | 800.424.6224©2011 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES)
  • 7 | 7 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL EXHIBIT CAMPAIGNSPost-Show Tactics Post-event, be sure to send a thank you email within five days, if not sooner. In addition, make a follow-up phone call or drop a direct mailImmediately after the show, it’s piece that contains a survey.time to begin mining all of thevaluable information you’ve Finally, bring the entire team together again for a post-show meeting. Providecollected throughout the pre- the group with an analysis of what was measured and what the outcomeand at-show processes and was. It’s key to creating accountability that the same key stakeholdersthen uploading these into your who were part of the objective-setting process are in the meeting so theycompany’s CRM system. thoroughly understand the data generated from the show. CASE STUDY: BALANCED EFFORTS Inside the integrated trade show campaign in action A leading pet care company needed a show-stopping experience to promote its newest line of pet foods at its largest industry event, the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC). GES created an integrated marketing campaign designed to immerse attendees in the principles of the brand—health, strength and balance. A unique and engaging product video accompanied by in-booth “balancing acts” brought the campaign to life and delivered award-winning results. Goals & Objectives Develop an integrated marketing campaign of pre-, at-, and post-show touch points to increase brand awareness and qualified leads while driving traffic to the booth and website. Create an exhibit that captivates and educates attendees while distinguishing the brand as the go-to source for pet foods. Increase veterinarian recommendations and sales of the brand’s distinct product lines. Pre-Show Pre-show direct mail drove traffic to the client’s website where prospects could pre-register, fill out a survey and view a teaser video for the event. At-Show The dynamic booth design featured interactive components, a large-screen theater, numerous lead stations and fabric panels to visually illustrate the idea of movement and balance. At-show activities included acrobatic performances and a presentation of the video featuring unique shadow art performances by an internationally acclaimed dance company. Staff training and measurement stations helped the brand collect a record number of qualified leads, while premium giveaways aligned with the campaign theme. Post-Show Post-show thank you emails and post cards reinforced the brand’s message and drove traffic to its website for additional product information. The client captivated its target audience (average length of booth visits was 20 minutes) and doubled the client’s qualified leads from the previous year. STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 5 STEP 6 STEP 7ges.com | 800.424.6224©2011 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES)
  • STEP 7 MEASURING AND REPORTProve Performance and Understand What Did or Didn’t Work from the entrance and exit pointsdid they do and what did they get out of it? That can be a clue that you’re to the duration of time spent within each area to the interest inOut of who was invited and who came, next you assess what did they do video clips, to assess how well itwhen they came worked. “It’s incredibly valuable tofar along did you move them through the channel? The pet food brand, understand that a certain percentfocused on small animals. How many of those did they get? trial product over another and there’s a three percent abandonPost-show, it’s imperative that you get your show data uploaded into rate on the product video,” saysyour company’s CRM or Salesforce database immediately. There are twoways to make this process go faster: one, get a clear understanding ofhow the data base fields are set up before programming your data are the kinds of statistics thatcollection devices. If you do not ask for information in the same format as brand managers need and want toyour database system… well, let’s just say that someone has a lot of know.”post-show data cleansing and reformatting to do, says Triano. And two,clearly define the roles and steps to processing this most valuable asset. For a government agency clientRoles should include onsite data backup to protect the precious data looking to connect with Gen Yfrom corruption or general loss, to delivering raw data to a data manager taxpayers, GES researchedor partner as soon as possible after show closes. Remember, prospects audience, behavioral trends,and current customers are waiting for a follow-up. Provide cleansed and and communication channels.non-duplicate files to the appropriate team members. In some cases you The result? A portable gamemay want this data already split by regional zip codes, products or pre series. This experience includedassigned to a sales representative, says Triano. collecting demographics, on- demand personalized VIP cardsOther data points from the event should answer: who you talked to started with 1-2 opinion baseline questions, activity game and the rewarded questions. The experience allows real-time VIP card has a website and planscompound studies. Equipped with a sound dome above the monitors, show eventually.doctors were spending 5-20 minutes on various studies. Supplying data well. well before the show or event.data. You can track and report on every touch point within the booth, STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 5 STEP 6 STEP 7ges.com | 800.424.6224©2011 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES)
  • 9 | 7 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL EXHIBIT CAMPAIGNSCULTIVATING CONVERSATIONSA Primer on the Importance of Pre-show Sales Team TrainingThe top notch sales teams who staff your booth are customarily highly On the show floor, you get threeeffective in the field. But, during the few times a year they are called on seconds to engage a stranger. At anto work an event, they need specific preparation for working this unique initial meeting and a few minutesand different environment to transition their field skills to the exhibit of introduction, one generally goesfloor–the dynamics of communication are different. “A lot of marketers into several stages in the salessay, ‘We’ve got our best people in the booth, they know what to do.’ But process that includes an in-depththose folks, as good as they are, haven’t been as schooled as they need to Customer Needs Analysis which canbe in the dynamics of the trade show or convention exhibiting process,” take several calls and lots of time.says Jerry Gerson, a corporate training specialist and GES partner.” On the exhibit floor you get aboutHere are a few ways to get your booth staff up to snuff in the months 45 seconds to get a profile matchbefore the event: (do they fit what you’re looking for?) And then you’re trying to qualifyArm Them with Data. Help them understand that today’s trade show their needs and create an experienceexperience is ripe with new opportunities who are walking the floor looking that leaves the attendee wanting tofor what’s new, solutions that can work for them and exhibiting companies continue the conversation for theirwho are willing to talk with them, not pitch to them, and that just one reasons, in less than 15 minutes.attendee could make their sales year. Teach them how to effectively engage That is why making your messagesattendees before and during the event. Says Gerson: “The average attendee, clear, concise and to the point haveacross the exhibiting landscape, is going to visit an average of 20 to 35 exhibits greater memorability.at a trade show and will spend between five and 17 minutes where they haveinterest. About 63 percent have buying plans, 76 percent have an agenda And finally, capture sales-usefuland two-thirds have pre-selected which exhibits they’ll visit before they even information for the field and ask thearrive. We often hear ‘I’m going to meet with my customers–everybody who attendee “What should be our nextcomes knows us.’ While it’s great to meet with current customers, they need step?” There is an effective approachto be prepared to exploit what I call the areas of existing growth. 36 percent for working the exhibit floor andof attendees are first-time attendees (per the Center for Exhibition Industry your staff should be exposed to it.Research, CEIR). The old assumptions don’t work anymore.” The on-site magic really happensMake Them Accountable. The line of accountability starts with goals and when your measurement toolsobjectives and leads right onto the show floor. That’s why clear, specific enable your team to scan a badgeand focused objectives that are written and communicated to the exhibit and quickly give your sales team thestaff in advance gives them clear direction on what they are to accomplish. pre-qualifying data you collectedBe sure it’s clear to them why they are at the show, who they are trying months before the event. This leadsto attract (the target profile), what must be communicated to that target to a highly personalized, deeplyattendee, what the company is trying to bring home and how the company relevant conversation. “They comewill measure success. “If they understand what the end result is supposed in and swipe and you say, ‘Gosh,to be—and what is the business-useful result, then you have a focus and a we already have your information,direction in terms of performance and accountability,” says Gerson. and I understand you want to talk about X, I’m so glad you came toDefine the Differences in Dynamics. “The intent of sales is to close the the booth. Let’s chat about yoursale,” Gerson explains. “The intent of exhibiting is to open opportunities issue,’” Rogers says. “It makes themfor sales to close.” If you explain the differences to your booth staff, they feel that we’ve listened, we care.can learn to adjust their approach. And it also takes them out of thatA sales call appointment, for instance, can take days or weeks to schedule. cold call experience.”ges.com | 800.424.6224©2011 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES)
  • 10 | 7 STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL EXHIBIT CAMPAIGNS STEP 7 MEASURING ANd REPORTProve Performance and Understand What Did or Didn’t WorkAfter the show wraps, ask yourself who was invited and who came? What from the entrance and exit pointsdid they do and what did they get out of it? That can be a clue that you’re to the duration of time spentnot communicating properly with that attendee before the event. within each area to the interest inOut of who was invited and who came, next you assess what did they do video clips, to assess how well itwhen they came? Not only what information did they give you, but how worked. “It’s incredibly valuable tofar along did you move them through the channel? The pet food brand, understand that a certain percentfor instance, wanted appointments with new, multi-doctor clinics that of attendees are interested in onefocused on small animals. How many of those did they get? trial product over another and there’s a three percent abandonPost-show, it’s imperative that you get your show data uploaded into rate on the product video,” saysyour company’s CRM or Salesforce database immediately. There are Angela Triano, Marketing Solutionstwo ways to make this process go faster: one, get a clear understanding Account Executive at GES. “Theseof how the data base fields are set up before programming your data are the kinds of statistics thatcollection devices. If you do not ask for information in the same format brand managers need and want toas your database system… well, let’s just say that someone has a lot of know.”post-show data cleansing and reformatting to do. And two, clearly definethe roles and steps to processing this most valuable asset. Roles should For a government agency clientinclude onsite data backup to protect the precious data from corruption looking to connect with Gen Yor general loss, to delivering raw data to a data manager or partner as taxpayers, GES researchedsoon as possible after show closes. Remember, prospects and current audience, behavioral trends,customers are waiting for a follow-up. Provide cleansed and non-duplicate and communication channels.files to the appropriate team members. In some cases you may want this The result? A portable gamedata already split by regional zip codes, products or pre assigned to a series. This experience includedsales representative. collecting demographics, on- demand personalized VIP cardsOther data points from the event should answer: who you talked to and an interactive journey thatbefore the show, what information did you get, what did people say, what started with 1-2 opinion baselinewere the trends across the show, how many people actually participated questions, activity game andbefore the show, and were those the same people, or different people that the rewarded questions. Theparticipated at-show? You will also want to measure what happened in experience allows real-timeterms of the booth experience, from the swipe information to immediate metrics on perception rates. Theproduct follow up needs. By building a pharmaceutical interactive program VIP card has a website and plansand configuring a badge scan, one GES client was able to measure trial to continue the experience postcompound studies. Equipped with a sound dome above the monitors, show eventually.doctors were spending 5-20 minutes on various studies. Supplying datapoints that supported interest trends, duration of time spent within each The kind of statistics that transforminteractive, all abandoned pathways or videos were captured as a reactive trade show program intoThe doctors could even request a follow up on specific information. a proactive, holistic program that delivers on objectives and beginsData about your booth’s performance in terms of traffic flow per day or well before the show or event.per hour, and interactives within the booth can reveal excellent behavioraldata. You can track and report on every touch point within the booth, STEP 1 STEP 2 STEP 3 STEP 4 STEP 5 STEP 6 STEP 7ges.com | 800.424.6224©2011 Global Experience Specialists, Inc. (GES)