For many years now we’ve worked with industry leading event and exhibition organisers to deliver their print and direct mail requirements. And during that time we’ve learnt that one of the biggest challenges facing an Event Manager or Marketing Manager is the pressure of time. Time to organise, time to deal with multiple stakeholders, time to manage suppliers, time to solve last minute problems, time to effectively communicate with the different visitor and exhibitor target audiences.
The pressures are many, and as I was once told by someone in the events industry, ‘the three things you can be sure about in life are death, taxes, and the doors are going to open’.
Integrating direct mail marketing into your campaign and working closely with a print supplier who understands the industry can take some of that pressure away.
So to help you use your time as effectively as possible, we’ve put together a list of suggestions to successfully promote your event through maximising your direct marketing activity.
Depending on whether you’re new to the industry or you’ve been in events and exhibitions for a while will impact on how much of this you’re familiar with. But it’s always handy to have help and / or reminders and we hope you find it useful
With the purpose, format and content of you’ve event agreed, your first priority is attracting high quality exhibitors (that in turn attract visitors to your event), keeping them informed of your plans and helping them get the best out of their attendance.
Some key activities to consider are:
- Early bird discount activity that doesn’t get lost in someone’s email inbox or simply deleted – sending simple, cost effective direct mail pieces such as postcards with a clear message offering ‘book before’ discount offers.
- Marketing Through Exhibitors. Creating invites on behalf of exhibitors to send to their customers letting them know about the event / where the exhibitor will be at the event, and encouraging them to register to attend. These can be printed with codes or dedicated URLs to monitor response. The invites can be sent out in bulk or we can securely receive data files and mail to customers directly.
- Activity plans – floor plans, communication schedules, seminar content plans, sent to update exhibitors or potential exhibitors with all the reasons the event will be a success and why / when they should be contacting their own customers and prospects about the event.
Once you’ve got exhibitors on board, your focus turns to attracting the right visitors, so your exhibitors get the relevant audience they need and see high foot fall. Direct Mail remains an extremely effective way to reach targeted audiences, especially when it’s so easy for people to ignore emails or simply delete them to stop their inbox filling up.
We can print, personalise, mail and achieve postage discounts on high volume mailings to help you build a highly targeted and efficient integrated campaign that dovetails with your digital comms.
The most effective forms of DM used by our customers include:
- Postcards with key event stats to convince visitors your event is a must attend
- Pre-show newspapers highlighting key exhibitors, speakers and what’s new
- Self-mailer event previews
- Show/conference schedules detailing what’s on and when
We handle direct marketing like this for multiple clients, both nationally and internationally. And we can even handle your mailing returns enabling you to keep your data clean and GDPR compliant.
In the final weeks before your exhibition, as well as continuing to inform exhibitors and visitors, you’ll be busy prepping materials for the big day. Here are a few vital ingredients not to be left until the last minute:
Registration and badges
Many event organisers find that mailing out a badge to those who’ve pre-registered is a great tool. Or a direct mail piece to those that haven’t yet registered for the event but have previously attended. And a badge mailing can be combined with event previews to reduce postage costs. If you need a supplier to print delegate badges, personalised with barcodes and QR codes, we can help.
Delegate bags are a key promotional element at any event. Branded for your event, they act as a marketing tool to offer sponsorship and / or sponsored inserts that generate additional revenue. We print sponsored or show branded bags and take delivery of, or print for your sponsors, the various exhibitor and sponsor inserts. We then pack them into the bags, box, palletise and deliver to your event via a dedicated vehicle. We know how important it is these items are delivered on time and to the correct location, to aid the smooth running of your event.
Onsite Show Guides
Another key item not to be forgotten in your plan. The show guide can include the schedule for the event, floor plans, sponsor adverts, exhibitor A-Z’s and promotions for future events. Many events now have their own App but people still want to hold something to help them when they attend an event. How many people do you see sat in an on-site café using the show guide to plan who they need to see. It is important to plan ahead for this and give the relevant contributors deadlines for artwork to be received. However we appreciate there are often last minute changes that will effect the layout, requiring a quick print turn around.
Final ’Don’t miss out’ reminders
Providing your data complies with GDPR regulations, sending last minute emails or text messaging can help boost last minute registrations. An A5 postcard mailed out with show timings and ‘how to get there’ messages can also have a really positive impact on registrations and reminders to attend for those who have already registered.
We genuinely hope you’ve found that (or some of it) useful. If you’d like to discuss any of the above with us in more detail we’d be more than happy to chat over the phone or come in and see you. Good luck with that event!