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Event and Experiential Activity Marketing Trends

We love the blog by Skyline. Here is an article by them about event and experiential marketing trends.

EVENT & EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING TRENDS

By: Kayla Goeman, Marketing Associate, Skyline Exhibits

I took a look at one of the world’s most comprehensive annual research studies on event & experiential marketing to breakdown industry trends for you. You can use this data to help justify your trade show or event budget and presence to leadership.

Here is what I found.

KEEPING THE GOAL IN MIND

As with most marketing projects, the end goal has to be kept in mind when making tactical decisions.

What is the goal or strategy for events and experiential marketing in 2016? Unsurprisingly, the top two goals for investing in events or experiential activity marketing are to increase brand awareness and drive sales. You can also expect to see significantly more events and experiences hosted by companies in 2016 than in the past, with a whopping 79% of respondents planning to execute more event and experiential activities this year.

MEASUREMENT

Interestingly, the criteria for measurement has changed in the past two years, with total attendance or participation as the highest form of measurement, followed by Facebook likes or social media activity, followed third by leads. The second and third place measurement of social media activity and leads is intriguing due to the complexity of tracking ROI these metrics give. In a perfect world, a lead gathered includes detailed information about a prospect that includes a timeframe for purchase. These types of details are harder to flesh out when someone is retweeting a post or sharing an exciting Facebook status from your company.

A lead will often automatically be entered into your company’s marketing automation or CRM platform, whereas tracking someone through social media into your CRM system can take multiple steps. What you measure should be dictated by your end goal for hosting an event or trade show. If brand awareness is the end goal, social media buzz will be a relatively easy measure to track and give you the most reach, whereas if driving sales is a key goal, detailed lead information will set your company on track.

BUDGETING

So, we know we will be seeing more events and more experiential activity marketing taking place over our year. With more events to host, and theoretically more competition for attendance and “buzz” at these events, a sizable budget to help companies stand out has become important to respondents- as budgets are expected to increase over 6%. The 2015 average growth rate of budgets is nearly three times the level of recent U.S. GDP growth.

THE VALUE OF EVENTS

The goal is to increase brand awareness and generate sales, which will be done by measuring the total attendance, social media presence, and number of leads with an increased company budget. But why? Why are events worthwhile?

We live in a consumer-driven world, where the customer is expecting much more from a company than ever before. Why is the investment of an event worthwhile? The consumer values events. A significant 98% of survey respondents said that participating at the event or experience made them more inclined to purchase.

Is there anything else your marketing department is doing right now that leads to a 98% more inclination to buy? If not, it’s valuable to consider hosting an event. It may even be a good idea to host an event for your best clients if you are exhibiting at a trade show.

If you are attempting to justify an investment in an event or trade show to your boss, know that these consumer and event trends are increasing, and shows the pulse of what’s to come.

Trade Show Giveaway

Valuable information regarding Trade Show giveaway, published by skyline.com

 

7 KINDS OF TRADE SHOW GIVEAWAYS

September 7, 2012

By Mike Thimmesch 

Giveaways are an extremely popular way to get more people into your trade show displays. But not all giveaways are created equal.

To help you whittle through the nearly infinite choices of giveaways, I’ve grouped them into 7 types, with the strengths and weaknesses of each type listed below. Keep this chart handy the next time your team gathers to brainstorm ideas for your upcoming trade show.

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Giveaway Type

Cheap stuff

Strength
Doesn’t cost much so you can give them to a lot of people

Weakness
Will not reflect well on your brand if they appear too low in quality, let alone break quickly

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Giveaway Type

Nice stuff

Strength
Will get you noticed favorably by your clients and prospects

Weakness
Usually can’t afford to give to everyone at a show

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Giveaway Type

Trendy stuff

Strength
Can get more people’s attention

Weakness
May not get the right people’s attention

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Giveaway Type

Educational stuff

Strength
Can use to attract only the people who are qualified prospects

Weakness
Takes effort to research and publish, and may not attract all your best prospects

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Giveaway Type

Your stuff

Strength
Can use to attract only the people who are qualified prospects

Weakness
Will not motivate people who only care about themselves personally; plus may get fewer leads (bad if lead quantity, not lead quality, is your sole metric)

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Giveaway Type

Wearable stuff

Strength
High perceived value and can put your logo on it

Weakness
If not good looking no one will want it, and it may end up in a drawer; plus “I’ve got enough t-shirts.”

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Giveaway Type

Edible stuff

Strength
Will attract grateful attendees

Weakness
Prospects are left with nothing that has your name on it, and you may pay double – cost to buy, plus cost to pay show hall a corking fee to giveaway food and drink

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I hope that gives you some good ideas about which direction you take next when strategizing for your future events.

And if you get bored saying “giveaway” over and over again, here are 10 more words you can use to describe them:

10 Other Names For Giveaways:

  1. Promos
  2. Promotions
  3. Tchotckes
  4. Premiums
  5. Incentives
  6. Corporate gifts
  7. Swag (acronym for “Samples, Wearables, And Gifts”)
  8. Freebies
  9. Advertising specialties
  10. Bribes

No matter what they are called, a well-chosen giveaway can help you drive more traffic to your trade show booth, boost your brand awareness, and help you deepen relationships with clients and prospects.