When it comes to B2B, especially industrial high technology area, one of the most appreciated and common marketing tools happen to be participation in various exhibitions, trade fairs, shows, conferences etc. But is it still worth it?
Let us quickly run through the history of the thing we know and call the Exhibition. According to Wikipedia the exhibition came fully into its own in the 19th century, but various temporary exhibitions had been held before that, especially the regular displays of mostly new art in major cities. The Paris Salon of the Académie des Beaux-Arts was the most famous of these, beginning in 1667, and open to the public from 1737. By the mid-18th century this and its equivalents in other countries had become crucial for developing and maintaining the reputation of contemporary artists. In London the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition has been held annually since 1769, and the British Institution ran temporary exhibitions from 1805 to 1867, typically twice a year, with one of new British painting and one of loans of old masters from the Royal Collection and the aristocratic collections of English country houses.
Modern exhibitions may be concerned with preservation, education and demonstration, early exhibitions were designed to attract public interest and curiosity. Before the widespread adoption of photography, the exhibition of a single object could attract large crowds. Visitors might even be overcome with Stendhal syndrome, feeling dizzy or overwhelmed by the intense sensory experience of an exhibit. Today, there is still tension between the design of exhibits for educational purposes or for the purpose of attracting and entertaining an audience, as a tourist attraction.
Nowadays lot of b2b companies participate in different shows at least once per year. Some of them with bigger marketing budget succeed to take part in over 10 events.
We all know that this is a ridiculously overpriced business. It starts with organizers whom you need to pay crazy money for space rental. And if we check our records carefully we’ll see that the price is growing 10-20% every year. And this is not yet over. You need to pay not just for space, you separately need to pay for all the services you’ll need at the show: electricity, cleaning services, water supply etc. And this adds another 50% to your space rental costs. However all above mentioned is not the most expensive and time taking things. This is the easiest when it comes to planning your participation.
Today you have to start booking your space for the next time right after the show is over. First, this will let you save up to 5-10% of your space rental costs. Secondly, this will guarantee you will get the right place, the place you need with better location, better view angles etc. This is why you have to book your place beforehand.
The next thing is your stand design. Of course, if you’re really very short on budget, you have no choice but choose the standard design, which means no design at all. Here you can have an option to print out some posters or roll-ups to help you a bit. This is ok if you participate in some new for you show.
But when it comes to the event you treat as the main show of the year for your company, then you need to turn to professionals who can help you to create great stand design and build it for the show. This is a luxury option since you have to pay at least 3 times more than you for your space rental (of course I mean excellent design, not some freelance one week job). But believe me this totally worth it, since now you will be recognized and every visitor at the show will notice you and your brand, which is very important. I’m not gonna share too many details this time. Complete guide for your perfect show will be available later this year, so you can totally nail it for your in 2019.
Now you have your space rental and stand design covered, so you can move forward with preparations.
The next important thing is your plan. You need to prepare a step-by-step schedule where you put everything in order, set the goals, set the people in charge of each task etc. This plan will be of great help to control preparations and be on time with everything you need. It can be either a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel, data in your digital calendar application, or you can use of the tools previously described in the article “3 Great Apps to Keep Your Marketing Team Running“.
Read Show must go on: your perfect event marketing plan. Part 2 early October.
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