When it comes to the world of marketing, businesses are constantly striving to stay ahead of the competition. As the industry moves away from traditional promotional tactics and experiential marketing strategies continue to grow in popularity, guaranteeing you get the most out of your event is essential. From preparation to execution to follow up, every aspect of your event has a direct and significant effect on its ultimate success.
We’ve gathered together some of the most common marketing mistakes many startups make before, during and after an event. If you’re looking to execute a successful event which leads to a great ROI, avoid these common pitfalls to set your business up for success right from the drawing board.
The only way to ensure you have a successful event is through strategic preparation in the run-up to the big day. Poor planning is one of the most common mistakes business owners make where event marketing is concerned – and whether it’s finding the prime location or choosing the best team for a specific event, every decision you make matters.
Lack of advertising
Whether you’re attending a corporate marketing expo or planning your own pop-up event, your target audience needs to know where you’ll be and what you’re offering. Failing to advertise your event in advance will undoubtedly lead to disappointment on the day. Utilise social media, email and word of mouth as vital promotional channels to generate maximum interest. These are also great ways to make connections, which can be followed up after the event.
Targeting the wrong audience
This is a mistake seen time and again at marketing events – businesses garner substantial interest but from an irrelevant audience. It’s essential to brief your team ahead of the event so that everyone’s clear on the demographic you’re targeting. To guarantee everyone concerned is on the same page, organise a meeting to give your team a comprehensive brief ahead of the event.
Picking the wrong location
The location of your event is almost as integral to its success as how effectively it engages your intended audience. Whether it’s a pop-up exhibition or a pre-planned trade show, picking the wrong location means you won’t have a chance to reach the demographic your event is designed to engage. Of course, the ideal location depends entirely on both the event format and your available budget – so keep in mind that one spot won’t be appropriate for every event.
After planning your event down to the finer details, your efforts will be fruitless if your team aren’t prepared to execute the plan come event day. While it’s easy to get caught up in the atmosphere of the day and enjoy making new connections, remember that you’re there for a specific purpose – and keep this goal at the forefront of your mind throughout.
When it comes to marketing events, failing to take a holistic approach is where many companies experience problems. From arriving at the event to the moment you pack up your exhibition trailer, you’re representing your brand. Events provide a platform from which you can showcase a product or service – and from your exhibition unit to your banner stands to the attitude of your team, every element of your brand presence should be a key consideration.
Failure to engage
If your brand fails to engage prospective customers, this is sure to negatively impact on your ROI. The aim with experiential marketing is to break the barrier between consumer and brand, and it isn’t always easy – but removing this divide gives you a chance to immerse visitors in a memorable brand experience and convert these visitors into leads.
Misunderstanding your aim
Again, this is a team contribution. As a business owner, you’ll be expected to know exactly what you’re looking to get out of an event – but if your team are unfamiliar with targets and goals, your chance of success is slim to none. From anticipating potential questions to being fully versed in your brand ethos and USP, you and your team should all be prepared for anything potential customers throw your way.
This is your final opportunity to turn promising leads into paying customers – and while it may be the final hurdle, it’s the point at which businesses often fail to seal the deal.
Follow up faux pas
After months of tireless planning, a well executed event can unravel in the final stages through a failure to follow up. The banner stands might be down and your business cards tucked away, but there’s still work to do if you want to maximise your ROI. From email to social media to a good old-fashioned phone call, you should be timely in your approach whichever channel you choose.
Experiential marketing provides businesses with a flexible platform from which to showcase their brand, harnessing face-to-face engagement to create lasting connections. Now you’re armed with the all the information you’ll need to make your event a success, it’s time to release your brand into the wild.
Sam Wright is an events blogger at The Events Structure – the UK’s only single source provider of state-of-the-art exhibition units, helping businesses propel their brands to a new level of industry success.