Successfully marketing your expo will help you attract attendees, increase exhibitors, gain sponsors, build brand awareness and, subsequently, increase your return on investment (ROI).
After coordinating the plans of the event, including the venue and the budget, you should start planning how you will communicate the news of your event.
Marketing your expo doesn’t have to involve high amounts of money. There are a range of ways you can market your event that will be costly or affordable, therefore you can choose the strategy that best suits your budget.
1. Paid ads and re-targeting
An effective way to market your event is by using paid advertisements on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube or Instagram. This will help your event reach both a large and targeted audience. You can choose to advertise depending on your budget by setting a limit to the amount you wish to pay.
Re-targeting is a tool that you can use with paid advertisements that collates data based on who has visited your website and directs your advertisements towards them. This will be beneficial if people are considering exhibiting at your event but need that last bit of convincing.
2. Use/enlist your guest speakers and exhibitors
It’s important to know who your promoters are. If you already have a list of exhibitors or guest speakers that will be attending your event then you can use them as great marketing opportunities. Companies and guest speakers will have an established website and network that they can be sharing your event to. By promoting their participation to their own audience, you can gain more awareness and attendee interest.
3. Time is important
The most important component of marketing is the timing. You will need to start implementing your marketing tactics early to ensure you can awareness and attention. You should begin promoting on social media a few months before the event. Email marketing should begin up to a year before the event. Think about how time conscious your target audience is, will they be able to attend an event last minute, or will they need time to consider and make arrangements? It’s most likely that the answer will be the latter so ensure that your marketing plan accommodates this.
4. Target the right people
Your marketing efforts will provide the most benefit to you if you can target the right people. Your target market is a specific group of people you aim to target with your products or services. They should have an interest in what you offer as this will encourage them to attend your expo. The key is to look for quality rather than quantity. For example, if your event showcases Automotive products, then your marketing should be focused on the type of customers that will be interested in purchasing these items.
5. Pre-event and post-event emails
Email marketing is an effective tool for connecting with your target audience. It’s a professional and direct medium that allows for professional and direct communication and suits any budget. Emails can be sent to your current contact before the event begins informing them of the expo and inviting them to attend.
As you begin receiving more traction surrounding your event, reward those who register to attend with thank you emails and tailored content. Don’t forget the post-event emails to thank your attendees for participating in your expo.
6. Have a compelling website
When rolling out your marketing plan, ensure that you have a well-established website that you can direct your target audience to. You can’t market an expo that people can’t find, so create a website or landing page that contains information about the event, photos and links to register attendance or purchase space.
Methods to Market Your Expo
Local media is a simple way to gain awareness for your event in the area that it’s being held. Use ads in the local newspaper, radio station or websites to reach a large, yet relevant audience. If your event is a consumer show, then it might be worth publishing ads in local publications or websites that promote events in the area. Remember to choose the right media for your audience demographic.
Gaining media coverage for your event is a beneficial but often difficult task. It involves dedicated planning and execution to ensure you send the right story to the right source. We have previously created a blog post on how to gain media coverage for your event to assist you with this process. You can check it out here.
Industry focused media
There are different media publications and outlets that cater to particular industries, such as technology or automotive manufacturing. Choose media that is relevant to the industry you are targeting with your event. For example, if your expo is travel focused, then you can use travel websites or magazines to promote your event to their audience. This will help grow your awareness within an audience that has a genuine interest in what you have to offer.
Social media is one of the simplest and most effective methods to reach a large and targeted audience. Use platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to share images or videos related to your expo. Expand your social network by following other companies or commenting on content. Create a hashtag that is unique and relevant to your event as this can enhance the excitement around your expo. Start building your content for social media well before the event.
Word of mouth
This is an underrated form of communication you can leverage when marketing your event. For example, when people register to attend your event or exhibitors purchase space, give them the opportunity to share this on their own social media pages.
Blogging is an effective tool you can use to promote your event, build trust with your target audience and strengthen your online presence. Write blogs focusing on the purpose of your event or cover a range of educational topics that relate to your expo. You can even invite guests to write pre-event blogs to increase the excitement around your event. Make sure your blogs contain keywords related to the purpose of your expo as this will increase your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) content, therefore making your website easier to find on Google.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
SEO is about optimising your web page to help them reach a high position on Google or other search engines. It involves using keywords in the body and title of your website and landing pages. This also goes in hand with blogging, as you will use key words to increase the ranking in the organic search results. When writing blogs, use the words ‘event’ or ‘expo’ in the title and throughout.
While marketing your expo is an incredibly important task in the event planning process, you can see that it doesn't have to also be a difficult one. If you're ready to start marketing your expo, contact us at letschat@events720 and we can assist in creating your effective marketing plan.