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:
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.
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Are your booth staffers greeting French-speaking attendees in English at a show in Paris? Does your English marketing tagline make sense when translated into Portuguese? Are you asking for hundreds of thousands of marketing dollars, but have no way to prove your ROI because you are not evaluating your program? Many companies who exhibit at international trade shows make these COMMUNICATION MISTAKES, which fall into two main areas: Messaging and Engagement. In this 4-part series: Common Mistakes Made by International Exhibitors, we are identifying these mistakes and suggesting tactics to avoid them in the future. You can read Part One, AWARENESS, here and Part Two, PREPARATION, here.