5 ways to get better event marketing ROI

5 ways to get better event marketing ROI

Try these 5 proven tactics to win more leads and brand advocates to improve event marketing ROI. They may be common sense, but they're far from common practice.

Unlike the famous Woody Allen quote, you cannot get 80% of success at trade shows by just showing up. Trade shows and conferences bustle with eye-catching distractions and highly-caffeinated attendees. They are hyper competitive arenas for attention. Marketers need more than the cookie-cutter booths and ubiquitous keychain giveaways to get - and keep - the attention of attendees and press at events today.

Creativity and planning are key, but marketers don’t need a big budget to deliver ROI. Try these 5 proven tactics at your next trade show or conference. You will win more leads and brand advocates.

1) Host a side event

Pick a restaurant nearby the venue and invite customers, partners and social media followers to a semi-private networking event. Use a custom hashtag and a social event ticketing platform like Meetup so attendees can check out the guest-list and connect beforehand. Then invite prospects and press so they can talk to current customers. Marc Benioff has said this was Salesforce’s most effective tactic for acquiring new customers.

2) Add a designer's touch

InVision's artisanal coffee station
‍INVISION'S ARTISANAL COFFEE STATION AT THE LAUNCH FESTIVAL IN SAN FRANCISCO

If you’re already spending big on exhibiting at an event, invest a little bit extra to put a creative spin on your presence and giveaways. For example, InVision brings along an artisanal pour-over coffee station and potted orchids, along with the standard booth backdrop and tablecloth. The net effect is that attendees lingered for conversation, whereas another booth with a cafeteria-style coffee dispenser sat ignored. Thoughtful extras like these don’t cost much, but make a world of difference.

3) Create a memorable hashtag

Come up with a short, memorable hashtag for your brand and use it frequently alongside the main event hashtag to share news, photos, and contests. Home Depot runs a contest for best college football tailgate photos with the hashtag #HDGameDay that has over 10,000 mentions. For b2b, think integration, like printing your hashtag on stickers and t-shirts, for extra discoverability.

4) Run a targeted ad campaign

Ahead of the event, target Facebook event RSVPs and event page fans, LinkedIn event group members and Twitter event hashtags, which you can do with any size budget. Offer content related to the event and ask for emails in exchange. Co-brand with the event if possible, using the event logos prominently in creative, and create a dedicated landing page. When GETONIC, an ecommerce startup, tried this strategy, they reached thousands of event attendees.

5) Up-cycle Your Content

When the event wraps up, your content marketing just gets going. Collect all your photos, videos, and social media mentions for a wrap-up blog post and thank you email to send to attendees. Repackage the standout presentations from speakers or major discussion themes into blog posts and thought leadership for your team.

Marketers keep coming back to trade shows and conferences year after year, despite the noise and clutter, because they know they'll find a large groups of target customers. All it takes is a little planning and creative ingenuity and you too can stand out from the crowd.

Update: Santa Fe, N.M.  – Aug 3, 2020 – Event management platform EventGeek relaunched today under the new name Circa, with an updated mission as the first and only event management platform built to help marketing teams adapt strategy and skills to succeed in the new world of virtual and hybrid events. While EventGeek was originally designed to help marketers coordinate logistics for dozens or even hundreds of in-person events, Circa adds virtual event measurement capabilities, ensuring that enterprise marketing and sales teams can adapt existing event programs effectively and unify engagement data across all their events, whether they are hosting or sponsoring an event, and whether events are in-person, virtual or hybrid. To learn more, check out the blog post.

To Exhibit or Not to Exhibit – Five Event Marketing Metrics to Consider

To Exhibit or Not to Exhibit – Five Event Marketing Metrics to Consider

Ahh, the age-old question plagued many an event marketer’s mind
Read More
The Building Blocks of Hosting a Successful Virtual Marketing Event

The Building Blocks of Hosting a Successful Virtual Marketing Event

Here is everything you need to know about getting up and running with your next virtual marketing event
Read More
Circa Update: Dashboard Update & Saved Views

Circa Update: Dashboard Update & Saved Views

This update includes customizable views that you can save so different team members can have quick access to the event details they need for their role at the company. 
Read More