By Ellen Campbell-Kaminski
It’s a question that has plagued event marketers for decades: what happens behind the scenes in the companies you work with to pitch your product or service? Why are some projects green-lighted and others that seemed a “sure thing” canceled altogether? This question was recently posed at the EDPA ACCESS 2016 annual conference. The good news: it is possible to demystify this issue with a better understanding of how companies operate and decision-making models.
Consideration One: Get a better understanding of the organizational characteristics of the company.
Think about a particular client and ask yourself: which resources are dedicated and which are shared? Exhibit managers and Event marketers are typically shared resources, managing multiple priorities and the (often conflicting) expectations of internal stakeholders.
Many of these individuals are drowning in data and responsibilities. So, what are they looking for? It’s a partner that is:
• Empathetic - Most people just want to be heard and understood.
• Proactive - Help keep them on track by reaching out about upcoming projects well in advance.
• Solution-Oriented - Always offer new ideas and suggestions for improvement.
Also, think about who in the organization is responsible for achieving revenue targets. Larger organizations tend to be highly matrixed which often means that multiple people have revenue goals and often there are both vertical and horizontal and shared goals. This can lead to conflicts, especially when one group is not performing according to plan.
Understanding organizational structures and how different divisions are performing can help predict when last minute changes to the tradeshow plan are likely. For example, when a division is underperforming, you might get last minute requests for extra demo stations. Tracking and researching your clients and their philosophy is the best way to become familiar with how an organization operates.
This is best achieved by:
• Asking questions - Ask key contacts and senior leaders how the company is doing, on a regular basis. Are new products in the works?
• Reading the company’s annual report
• Tracking data and news
Click Here To See Consideration Two:
The old saying is true: You only get one chance to make a first impression. These days, we also know from experience that good branding is important and goes far beyond an eye-catching logo. While branding is definitely about the visual identity of your company it also encompasses your verbal identity: how you talk and write about the company is crucial. For your reader (AKA current/future clients), this communicates your brand personality and what your company values are likely to be, should they choose to hire you. It’s crucial to consider the physical spaces your target audience is likely to encounter your brand, in the same way we think about logos, fonts, tone, and voice.
The concept of buyer personas has only been defined since 2002. The practice of building a model representation of a typical buyer, defining their goals, understanding what drives their behavior, and how, when and why they buy is an incredibly valuable tool for marketers, especially in the digital age. We create content based on an informed understanding of who our buyer is and where she is on her buying journey.
You just wrapped a successful trade show event. You are back in your office. All your leads have been distributed to the sales team. You are reconciling final invoices against your budget. But before you’ve had a chance to gather feedback from your sales partners about any opportunities generated from the leads, you are called into a planning session for the next event on your marketing calendar.
Vertiv, located in Columbus, Ohio, approached Exhibit Concepts with a specific need: they wanted to transform an existing 1,975 square foot space into a Customer Experience Center. The Center needed to showcase the company’s breadth and depth of technology offerings that protect mainframes with precision cooling systems.
At Exhibit Concepts, this has become somewhat of an unofficial motto around our offices. After 39 years in the trade show, commercial interior, and museum industry, we know all too well that every project and each client is unique. When it comes to unique, however, nothing is more so than the wooden crates we use to ship property across the world for our customers.