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:
You’ve made the decision to attend a trade show and you’ve
You’ve decided that investing in face-to-face marketing will achieve your brand
Recently, over 100 individuals from our industry gathered to speak to our representatives on Capitol Hill during Exhibitions Day. The annual fly-in is led by the International Association of Exhibits and Events (IAEE), and 2017 was the fourth installment, with attendance growing each year. While there are no exhibits, it is the epitome of the time-limited face-to-face marketing influence that is central to our industry.
When you are relatively new to a pre-existing events team or program, it can be overwhelming to get a handle on all the different number of trade shows, show acronyms, venues, assets, internal and external partners, products, brands and sales professionals. Taking a “program approach” and organizing your shows and assets into tiers can help you stay focused, concentrate on your objectives, control spending and will probably help your peace of mind.
So, you want to take your domestic trade show to an international audience. Or perhaps you’re already participating in international trade shows but you want to expand your program to additional cities. Regardless of the stage of your particular program, there is great value in understanding how trade shows operate internationally because it can be very different than in the United States.