What are the steps to deciding your next event?
Shaping an exhibition event strategy starts with an understanding of the business, answering questions like:
- What are our barriers and opportunities for growth?
- Who are our most important audiences? What do we need them to do (differently)?
- What value should they get from interacting with the brand at the events?
- How do we need perceptions of our brand to evolve?
- What makes us different from our competitors?
- What macro-trends are impacting our industry?
- Who are our stakeholders, and how will they evaluate the impact of our exhibition event activities?
Then, a team must look at potential exhibition events across several dimensions:
- What percentage of the event audience represents the target audience?
- How relevant is the event content to the business strategy?
- What is the event’s reputation in the industry (and its trajectory)?
- What is the nature of the competitive presence at the event?
- And other areas relevant to business priorities (geography, time of year, etc.)
Finally, consideration should be given to ‘ways to activate’ based on the brand strategy. For example:
- Exhibiting may be tied to a need to acquire qualified new customer leads.
- Signage may be connected to brand awareness needs.
- Speakerships might be focused on a thought-leadership goal or integration with an above-the-line campaign.
All of these elements are examined and prioritised. Data is gathered to answer questions that need some research. And from that foundation of knowledge, decisions are made about which events to target, how to activate the brand at each event, and at what investment levels. This may include a non-activation level of participation where representatives of the company attend the event to audit it for future potential involvement.
As brands participate in trade shows and exhibitions, data should be collected about the events to inform future decisions. This then empowers event teams to continuously refine their event selection approach over time, with more and better information collected with each activation.
At Smyle, we work with brands worldwide and across all sectors to define their exhibition and trade show strategies. We can create one activation or a plan that covers a whole year of events, with a flow of aligning content and approach.
Get in touch to see how we can support you with your event strategy: email@example.com