4 ways to make your next event stand out

Exhibitions and trade shows are back, so what are the best ways to attract the right participants and build a positive buzz for your business event?

In the post-Covid era, a CEIR study argues, event organisers will need to craft personalised messaging in order to gain rousing response from prospective attendees.
In the post-Covid era, a CEIR study argues, event organisers will need to craft personalised messaging in order to gain rousing response from prospective attendees. Photo Credit: GettyImages/Auris

In recent months, several surveys have pointed to a resurgence in the global B2B exhibitions market, driven by trends such as the use of new technology.

A report from the Centre for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) released last month, titled "Omnichannel Marketing Insights: Who to target for attendee acquisition" also points to strong forecasts for the B2B exhibition industry, with 87% of those surveyed planning to attend exhibitions throughout 2022.

So what are the best ways to ensure you are effectively targeting the right participants, and moreover, that they have a positive experience at your event?

1. Take a personalised approach

With CEIR’s research pointing to more senior people/decision makers expecting to attend B2B events in 2022 and beyond, personalised marketing can turn a 'maybe' into a confirmed 'yes'.

Start trickling information by providing a downloadable guide to the event, with enough information to engage potential attendees and spark their interest. If you have industry guest speakers at the event, get them to spread the word across social channels.

“Shape stories that speak to these overall objectives,” says the CEIR report. “Craft the messaging in their language so that the content is personalised.”

2. Consider the target personas of attendees

CEIR’s report outlines four different target exhibition ‘personas’: those who are product-focused, those who value networking, those who are buying-focused and those who attend to increase their knowledge - ‘learning-focused’.

Send out a survey pre-event to gauge what ‘persona’ attendees may fall into - segmenting attendee data in this way can also help you tailor the event content to these personas.

3. Make the case for attending your event

Post-Covid, the decision-making process to attend B2B exhibitions and trade shows may be more rigourous. Event organisers will need to help prospective attendees gain approval to attend by helping them make the case for the value of attending, relative to their objectives for doing so.

4. Proactively target Gen Z and Millennials

This demographic is far less likely to have loyalty to a particular brand or business so you will need to make a concerted effort to get them on board and motivate them to attend. Promote the more entertaining aspects of the exhibition and highlight opportunities to network, share knowledge and try new tools.



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