Whether you are a business exhibiting your brand at a trade show, or a professional conference organiser arranging an exhibition for a client, the key to your success lies in your planning – that’s why you need an exhibition marketing plan template to guide you.
In this blog, we outline the importance of marketing for your exhibition, how crucial it is to plan that marketing activity and finally, we share an exhibition marketing plan template for you to download and use for your 2019 exhibitions.
Exhibitions have stood the test of time and even in 2019, are one of the best face-to-face marketing channels for several industries and businesses. Exhibitions offer the perfect opportunity for brands to engage with their customers, suppliers and potential partners.
Preparing for your exhibition is no walk in the park and involves a lot of moving parts! Decisions and arrangements need to be made around your exhibit design, stand management, set-up logistics, operations and much more. One key item you need to plan for is your exhibition marketing.
Marketing your exhibition:
Marketing before your exhibition starts is key. Regardless of what you have prepared for your exhibition, if there are no attendees or guests do not know about your exhibit, all your hard work and preparation will be wasted.
You want attendees to come to your stand with intention and interest, rather than stumbling across it or worse – not coming across it at all. Putting together an exhibition requires a lot of energy and resources. You’ll want to make sure that you make the most of the opportunity by getting the right guests to attend, allowing you to have those valuable conversations and showcase your brand.
These are the three important stages when marketing for your exhibition:
- Pre-exhibition marketing: Marketing efforts ahead of the exhibition to generate interest and encourage visitors
- Live exhibition marketing: Marketing efforts that take place during the exhibition to attract guests to your exhibit and encourage other last-minute guests to attend
- Post-exhibition marketing: Marketing efforts that happen after the event to leverage the full impact and brand benefits of the event
Each of these stages requires different marketing activities to support them. In today’s digital era, much of the activity will be online marketing. In order to manage and effectively action the various activities, you need to prepare a plan.
Planning your marketing for your exhibition:
We can all agree on the importance of marketing your exhibition – but how does one go about actually carrying out that marketing? What marketing should be done? Which channels should you use? What exhibition marketing timeline should you follow?
Creating a solid plan for your exhibition marketing will help you to clearly define and manage your marketing goals for the exhibit, ensuring that there are actionable steps to take for each marketing activity. Creating an exhibition marketing plan will also allow you to assign various tasks to different team members and make sure that everyone is pushing towards the same objectives for the event. The plan should detail what activities will be done, what the purpose of each activity is and what they hope to achieve, deadlines and who is responsible for each task.
2019 Exhibition Marketing Template:
We’ve looked at the importance of marketing your exhibition and have discussed why it’s important to plan that marketing activity. Now, all you need is a marketing plan template to guide you.
To start off, you need to be clear on what your goals are for the exhibition. Do you want to have valuable conversations with new suppliers and build stronger relationships with current suppliers? Are you looking to generate new, quality leads?
It’s important for your marketing plan to begin with some measurable goals. This will make sure that the marketing activity you undertake supports reaching those goals.
Secondly, your plan should detail a budget for marketing activity. This will ensure that your marketing activity is the most economical choice considering your resources.
Assigning responsibilities to various people on your team is a great way to ensure that things get done on time. Your marketing plan should detail which team members are working on marketing your exhibition and be clear on who is responsible for what.
These activities need to create awareness for your exhibition. Your target audience, be it your customers, suppliers, partners or other industry stakeholders need to know about your exhibition. They need to be excited by the event and be encouraged to come and visit your brand.
Live exhibition marketing:
Once the exhibition starts, your marketing efforts do not stop. At the exhibition, there is a wealth of opportunity for you to market your brand. From creating and sharing content from the exhibit to engaging with attendees online, this key stage must be used to its full potential.
Post exhibition marketing:
Once the exhibition is over, your marketing efforts should not yet end. After the exhibition, you have the perfect time to consolidate your time and experience, sharing that with your audiences and aiming to extend the reach and impact of the event as far as possible.
Lastly, your plan needs to detail how you will measure the success of your exhibition. Having these Key Performance Indices (KPIs) in mind while planning and carrying out your marketing will keep you focused on the end goals.
Exhibition marketing ideas:
The activities you choose for each stage of the marketing plan need to effectively reach your target audience and incite action from them. You need to think of clever exhibition marketing ideas that will catch the attention of potential guests and encourage them to attend.
Not sure which marketing activities you should put into each stage in the template? Here’s a list of some great resources that share excellent exhibition marketing ideas.
So, there you have it. Exhibition marketing plays such an important role in the success of your event, and ultimately, your brand. We’re sure that you are aware that some of these tasks can take up a lot of your time. That’s where we are come in to assist. At FM Waechter, we have built up valuable connections within the MICE industry and the digital marketing arena. We understand the challenges that businesses big and small face. So, why not get in touch with us here. We would love the opportunity to see how we can help your brand.