The 7 deadly sins of trade show marketing strategies


March, 2019

Marketing can make or break your B2B event marketing strategy. A good strategy will get you a good amount of visitors but a great strategy can give you a sold-out, legendary event, so who wouldn’t want to have a great strategy?

Of course, the opposite is also true: a bad campaign will lead to a disappointing event. Sometimes, you can even be the reason for your own downfall without even knowing it!
Here are the 7 deadly sins that could be sending your B2B event to a fiery hell of unachieved KPIs (and how you can avoid being tempted by them).

 


 

How to resist the temptation of the 7 deadly sins of trade show marketing strategies

 


 

 

PridePride – The good and the worthy

When putting on a massive B2B event that attracts exhibitors and visitors from across the globe, it’s good to have a healthy ego. If you don’t have the confidence to take calculated risks, then your marketing will be boring and struggle to generate excitement among your target audience.
But an unchecked ego can have the opposite effect. Remember, just because you came up with a strategy doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. A good trade show marketing manager is a good listener. Welcome new ideas from your colleagues and consider them carefully. If they clash with your own, let the results be the deciding factor. The results never lie, after all.

 

LustLust – More! More! More!

Lusting after something is both a sin and a virtue. On the one hand, the intense longing to improve your marketing strategy can lead to new ideas and greater innovation. But that’s not what I’m interested in. I want to look at what makes lust sinful in a trade show marketing strategy.
When you see the success of another trade show’s marketing strategy, it’s normal to feel a little jealous. I mean, who wouldn’t want that kind of success for their own event. While imitation can be the greatest form of flattery, chasing strategies that just aren’t suitable for your budget, industry and target audience is a waste of time and energy.
To avoid succumbing to lust, look to other events success for inspiration, but not imitation. Take what you can from their strategies, but tailor them to your own event.

 

GluttonyGluttony – Biting off more than you can chew

If you’ve ever been to seasonal celebration you’ll know just how fun it can be gorging on delicious food until you need to loosen your belt. It’s fun until you realise you’ve eaten too much, and then it’s agony.
While eating as much food as possible won’t be part of your trade show marketing strategy (I hope!), getting as many registrations as possible probably is. Now, there’s nothing wrong with aiming to get a lot of registrations, so long as you don’t focus all of your attention on this single metric. We all know that you can get as many registrations as you want and it won’t mean anything if your visitors don’t show up.
Pace your trade show marketing strategy and focus part of your attention on re-engaging your registrants to remind them why they wanted to attend your event in the first place and minimise any concerns they may have about attending once the event is getting closer.

 

GreedGreed – Taking more than you need

I get it, your event is amazing and everyone should attend. I’ve had several conversations with trade show marketing managers where I’ve been told that we should just target everyone. Of course, this type if greedy targeting isn’t something The Social Effect would ever do, so I politely turn them down.
You can’t get everyone to register so don’t try. These types of greedy campaigns always end up a waste of money. It’s much better (and easier) to work with well-researched personas and narrow down your campaign. This makes it easier to target a particular audience that is actually interested in the event. Instead of wasting time and money on an audience that isn’t.
To avoid succumbing to lust, look to other events success for inspiration, but not imitation. Take what you can from their strategies, but tailor them to your own event.

 

WrathWrath – If you have a short fuse, event marketing isn’t for you

Frustrations and anger are the WORST for event marketers. It’s easy to get frustrated with a difficult supplier or a marketing campaign that’s not doing well. But never let that get to you. Running a campaign angrily results in unnecessary mistakes.
When your campaign isn’t going well, don’t get angry and start spamming your audience with ‘register now’ messages. Messages written in anger never result in registrations. Never.

SlothSloth – ZZZZZzzzzzzz

Remember that you’re marketing to people. Real, feeling, remembering people. Using a tried and tested campaign because it worked last year is the epitome of laziness. Even if your audience doesn’t remember the specifics of the strategy, the sense of deja vu will have a negative effect on your registration rate. Why would they want to attend an event that has nothing new.

 

EnvyEnvy – You can’t have everything

Frustrations and anger are the WORST for event marketers. It’s easy to get frustrated with a difficult supplier or a marketing campaign that’s not doing well. But never let that get to you. Running a campaign angrily results in unnecessary mistakes.
When your campaign isn’t going well, don’t get angry and start spamming your audience with ‘register now’ messages. Messages written in anger never result in registrations. Never.

 

Are you your own worst enemy?

 


 
Marketing B2B events isn’t easy and there’s a lot of temptation along the way that can derail your B2B event marketing strategy. If you need a crack team of B2B event marketing specialists to keep your B2B event marketing strategy on track, contact us now.

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Eric Louw
Eric Louw

Eric Louw

CLIENT SERVICES DIRECTOR


Some people are just destined to market B2B events. Eric is one of those people. It’s not because he’s passionate about B2B events (that’s a given), it’s because he’s passionate about helping B2B event organisers maximise their marketing budget with digital marketing tactics.

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