Prior to 2001, event producers were on a roll. Exhibitors were buying lots of space, sponsors were buying lots of sponsorships and attendees were flowing through the door. Everyone was happy and no one saw the end of the gravy train.
Top 10 Challenges for Event Producers
1. Increasing overall response rates
2. Increasing international attendees
3. Reaching VIP’s and power buyers
4. Increasing first-time attendees
5. Getting attendees’ attention
6. Reaching buying teams
7. Increasing qualified attendees
8. Increasing repeat attendees
9. Persuading attendees to travel after 9/11
10. Converting pre-registrants to verified registrants
Source: Surviving the Storm: Battling the Decline in Trade Show Attendance
Then came 9/11, and the decline in Trade Show attendance.
Today, an increasing number of event producers have come to realize that if they deliver the quantity and the quality of attendees that the exhibitors are looking for, then the rest of the event will take care of itself. In the past, exhibitor dollars were used to attract attendees. Now you have to deliver the attendees before the exhibitors will sign up.
Effective Marketing has developed a unique methodology “Audience Acquisition”, to assure the desired results.
Strategy ~ Develop quality target audience lists
Methodology ~ Develop quality messages for target audiences
Execution ~ Reach target audiences repeatedly with efficient choice of media with information they need. Track results and make real time adjustments
Results ~ Evaluation of staffing required to execute on your plan
Quality lists, targeted relationship marketing and right attendees are key to a successful event. Here are what Event Producers are saying:
Quality of Lists:
“We continue to refine our list selection criteria and look for all available sources of quality lists. By capturing response information on various selects and data elements within our lists, we continue to weed out the lower responding segments.”
Vice President, Events E3
“It is no secret that the most valuable asset to any association is its membership. Knowing who your members are, how to contact them and the products and services they provide is the essential ingredient to the success of your organization and its continued growth.”
President and CEO Creative Marketing Alliance, Inc.
Targeting the Audience:
“We send targeted marketing pieces to as many as 10 different types of buyers with customized messages about how to most effectively work the show floor, which education sessions are most relevant to them, and which networking opportunities appeal to them.”
Senior Vice President, Events, Marketing and Supplier Relations
National Association of Convenience Stores
“Education is a bigger factor than ever before; people need to justify being out of the office. In our marketing materials, we try to match certain sessions with the right attendee segment, providing reasons why people should attend a meeting.”
Senior Director, Conventions and Trade Shows SmithBucklin
The Right Attendees are ROI for Exhibitors:
“You want to give exhibitors ROI, and you do that by bringing buyers to the show. If you do that you’ll be successful, and if you don’t you’ll start struggling. It’s not rocket science, but it is true across the board.”
President National Trade Productions
“We start with content, content attracts the audience, which then attracts the advertiser. It’s relatively easy to sell the exhibitors, once they see that you’ve attracted a large number of high-caliber people.”
President and COO Jupitermedia