Trade show marketing or the idea of showcasing your brand through human interaction in a physical space seems pretty lucrative but needs to be done right in order to reap the right results. If you are a brand considering trade shows as a part of your marketing and branding strategy, you have probably come across…
Trade show marketing or the idea of showcasing your brand through human interaction in a physical space seems pretty lucrative but needs to be done right in order to reap the right results. If you are a brand considering trade shows as a part of your marketing and branding strategy, you have probably come across the term experiential marketing. Simply put, Experiential marketing refers to delivering your messaging in a snackable manner i.e putting up your ideas in a way that interacts with the audience. This can be done by incorporating elements that can be touched, felt or seen. Experiential marketing has been around for several years under the guise of different names but it is now that the exhibitors are trying to tap it to its full potential.
Maya Angelou, the American poet and civil rights activist quote, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Experiential marketing at trade shows not only ensures that you grab attention from the visitors but also makes sure that you hold it and make use of it to strengthen your brand. It strives on the concept of letting the audience experience your brand offerings in a way that they remember it.
You may wonder that if experiential marketing has been around for several years why is there an unprecedented buzz about it among the marketing crowds. The quick growth of experiential marketing can be attributed to the advent of social media. With a major chunk of marketing happening through social media, it is imperative to interact better with the audience and in order to increase social media reach.
Experiential marketing makes it easy to attract media and PR coverage that may otherwise be unaffordable or inaccessible. Your offbeat efforts to engage your audience at booths may very well interest the media personnel at the show.
The audiences, on the other hand, are already bored of the same run of the mill booths that have just chunks of information up on display but no real fun element to help them remember it. An out of the box experience will not only build interest but also make them feel valued.
David Armano from Edelman Digital, quotes “Provide an experience that is both useful, usable, desirable, and differentiated and you will create demand for your brand and delight your customer.”
Trade shows or experiential marketing are no magic words, you need to put in efforts to make it work. Here are some principles of experiential marketing that help you increase the retention value of your brand at trade shows:
The crux of trade show marketing lies in human interaction and the fact that your audience has the opportunity to see you as a brand and interact with you. The basic form of experiential marketing involves simply putting up your product for the audience to try. However, just putting up the product is too mainstream and getting a little creative here is the key.
Seth Godin, a marketing author says “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make but about the stories that you tell.”
It is indeed easy for the audience to connect with the brand and the messaging if an interesting story or style accompanies it.
There are numerous ways based on your industry in which you can create an impact. Say, for instance, if your product is food, you could conduct a game that involves tasting your product. Not only is this a fun way to engage but also adds to the retention.
The success of your experiential campaign is determined not only by the volume of attendees you could connect with at the trade show but also by how many non-attendees you can reach.
Social media marketing is very important and helps you increase the reach of your experiential marketing efforts. Just like Jon Bayer, the founder of Convince and convert quotes “ Content is fire, social media is gasoline”.
Plan your ideas considering how well they will span out in photos and videos that will be shared extensively with the outside audience. Bank on the power of hashtags to attract a follower base where you can concentrate your marketing efforts in the future.
Use event and any brand hashtags on all social media postings to increase your follower base. You can also create a hashtag for your campaign so people can follow along.
A trade show brings together numerous other vendors and competitors. It will be difficult to cast a distinctive statement if you keep your efforts limited to the booth. You can host lead up events or parties before the actual event to build up the hype. This way, the attendees look forward to visiting your booth. This is also known as pre-show marketing.
The expected results out of all marketing efforts are leads or direct sales. It is a good idea to add more accountability to your experiential marketing efforts but linking the experience with lead generation. Remember to ask for contact data and continue the experience by keeping in touch and constantly delivering relevant content. This leads to relationship building with your audience and hence continued business.
Some Ideas for experiential marketing:
Here are some ways in which you can offer experiences to your audience at your next trade show:
a) Put up a phone charging station and photo booths: In the era of Instagram, photo booths make for really attractive attributes of a booth and phone charging booths are also likely to get people at your booth and help them spend some time at your booth. You can connect to the prospects while they are at your booth.
b) Games: You can capture quite some leads and also garner attention with fun games. When you link the experiences, you offer t your product, it makes for a great marketing activity
c) Product Demonstrations: Well, this is no brainer. Product demos are the best way to help you offer hands-on experience of your product. Remember to keep it as creative as possible.
d) Advanced technology and multimedia: Advanced technology and multimedia experiences such as headphones, virtual reality, video simulations etc. are a sure shot success at a trade show. It is a good idea to use technology to garner attention towards your brand.
Experiential marketing speaks volumes about the creativity and fun approach of your brand. We at XS worldwide help you incorporate experiential marketing in your booth. Talk to us to know more.
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