Old School Marketing + New Tech = Today’s Attendee Acquisition Strategies
By Mary Tucker, CEIR Sr. Communications & Content Manager
CEIR has released the next report in its Attendee Acquisition Trends Driving Growth series, Report Two: Marketing Channel Mix, Messaging and Other Tactics that Drive Recovery. This report looks at marketing approaches applied to business-to-business (B2B) events held in 2020 through 2022, as well as those planned throughout 2023. The data sheds light on event marketers’ mindset and tactics as they relate to the ongoing recovery process of bringing both repeat and first timer attendees back to exhibitions.
“The key takeaway is that we are in a period of recovery, still coming out of the downturn the pandemic imposed on our industry,” states CEIR Vice President of Research Nancy Drapeau, IPC. “As the most recent CEIR Index results reflect, each quarter shows improvement and performance metrics are steadily getting better. But when looking at attendee acquisition efforts that are working today, and in today’s recovery climate, the data says that it’s smart to go back to fundamentals. Focus on rebuilding your attendee audience.”
That is not to say that savvy marketers aren’t applying the latest technologies to these efforts. In fact, it is the only way to succeed in today’s marketing blueprint which begins with knowing your attendees. As in, really knowing your attendees. Building your attendee personas is a crucial first step; if you don’t know how to speak to their needs, your efforts are over before you’ve even begun.
“It’s not enough to apply a generic message to everyone that attends your show,” emphasizes Drapeau. “You need to do the heavy lifting to gain a better understanding of those primary personas that come to your show.”
How you go about it varies and, in many ways, is the beauty behind omnichannel marketing. That ‘heavy lifting’ may come in the form of analyzing your social media channels, conducting direct surveys with your attendees, and/or most likely a mix of the many digital marketing tools available to generate a clear picture of your target audiences. But the effort is worth it because it directly affects your next step: hyper-targeted messaging.
Report Two details the most effective marketing channels that are driving registration to events. It is important to note that the success marketers experience is directly proportionate to how effectively they can cut through the digital noise and reach each target segment. It offers real-world results on nearly 20 tactics used – including surprisingly effective traditional approaches – which offers readers the opportunity to consider how these results compare to their own efforts and light up ideas for upcoming campaigns.
Another strategic element that has surfaced from this study is the benefit of forming vital collaborations with exhibition partners and relationship selling with key buyers and other groups. No man is an island when it comes to recovering from an unprecedented event like the pandemic. Collaborations help you get there.
Report Two cites the various incentives that have struck a chord with attendees, enticing them to meet the marketing end goal of registering for the event. Among them are key discount and premium programs, such as exhibitor invitation programs.
“Your lowest collaborative hanging fruit, so to speak, are your exhibitors!” exclaims Drapeau. “Exhibitor invitation programs benefit them and the show, ultimately leading to the desired outcome for both parties. And there are other programs and premiums that have proved successful as well.”
All of which are outlined in detail in this 22-page examination of the latest findings honed from responses direct from those in the trenches. This information serves as a valuable tool to exhibition organizers and marketers charged with deciding which tactics make the most sense for their show and how to maximize the resources available to them.
Click here to download Report Two: Marketing Channel Mix, Messaging and Other Tactics that Drive Recovery.
SAVE THE DATE for the May 18 webinar hosted by CEIR Vice President of Research Nancy Drapeau, IPC and featuring Paige Cardwell, President of CSG Creative, a division of NTP. This webinar will take a deep dive into the strategies highlighted in Report Two: Marketing Channel Mix, Messaging and Other Tactics that Drive Recovery.
CSG Creative helps associations, trade show organizers, corporations and event promoters build brands, think strategically, grow audiences and get results.
“Paige is a marketing rock star, and we are fortunate to have her help us dig deeper into approaches to consider using that dovetail what we see as being effective in driving registration,” notes Drapeau.
Stay tuned to this page for details regarding registering for the webinar and find a cornucopia of CEIR research here.
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