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Integrating digital into your event promotion

Chris Bardsley / 29 July 2023

Recently, I’ve seen a lot more of our clients take a campaign based approach to their marketing – multiple channels working together to reach a goal. It sounds like a dream, right?

Marketing channels so often work in isolation, that there’s pressure from all sides of the business for them to work without any support from other tactics.

A great example from a few weeks back: we had a client attend an event (Design Festival North, which was brilliant!) that typically would have been looked after by the business development team.

But when you’re at an event, there are a few things to be sure of:

  • the location
  • the type of person that will attend
  • your own target audience

It sounds perfect for sales & marketing to work together…

What did we do?

 

Engaged current contacts using email marketing – the easiest win and probably the most effective

Take job titles, locations, company names – anything that you can get your hands on from a CRM. We know that our clients’ database was the best place to start marketing, but alongside a weekly email campaign strategy – we didn’t want to risk annoying anyone. So we kept the creativity to a minimum, and made sure to reference their account manager to keep the invite as personalised as possible.

 

Created a blog post letting people know we’d be there (optimised this in advance for the show)

The minimum requirement. A blog. It doesn’t have to be complex; just highlighting when and where the exhibition is does the job. But you’ll do a better job if you plan ahead, and write the blog to include information about any new product launches, the staff that will be there, who you’re looking to speak to, and why you’ve chosen that event to exhibit at. By optimising the blog ahead of time (and speaking to your marketing team, of course), you’ll be able to optimise for the event name itself, potentially getting you impressions and awareness that wouldn’t have been there before.

 

Created an organic social media plan

Creating a batch of posts to go out from a company account is great. But when you think of the connections and followers that ALL of your sales team have put together, I’m sure it’s worth engaging with them. We made it easier for the sales team to spread the word with a few custom graphics and sign-offs.

 

This is great for the people you know. But what about the people you don’t know yet?

I mean, it’s the whole reason exhibitions take place, right? Here are a few things we did to engage potential visitors using digital:

 

Past website visitors

It’s SO important to make sure that your analytics and ad platforms keep track of the visitors to your website.

You might not do anything with them, but you don’t have to be running a campaign to keep the audience pool growing.

And when exhibition time comes around, you can advertise to that pool of visitors in combination with other targeting methods (in this case, something as simple as location would work a treat).

 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn Ads – forever the channel everyone says costs a fortune.

When used correctly, it can give you the top-of-funnel exposure you need to get in front of people who are likely to be visiting an exhibition.

The key word there is ‘funnel’ – the success of LinkedIn needs to be measured by the awareness you’re generating at this stage, NOT conversions.

The targeting options available are incredible for B2B audiences, and I’d recommend you get as niche as possible – reduce your audience size as much as is relevant.

 

Press Sponsorship

Finally – publications will often partner with events, who are always on the hunt for sponsors of their email newsletters, website banners, etc.

However, on the whole, I’d steer clear of banners. We’ve always seen the best performance come from email newsletters, with click through rates always HUGELY outperforming that of website banners.

 


 

Hopefully, that gives you a few ideas of how to integrate digital into your next event. If you need a few pointers, give us a shout.