Exhibitions, conferences, forums – no matter what format business events are held in, PR specialists can always learn a lot from them. Events serve as the basis for personal communication, serve as an offline platform for meeting with your target audience. Also, participation in them confirms the status of the company, strengthens its leadership position in the market, and forms the image of an industry expert. Yes, participation in most events is paid, but remember that later you will gain more than you spend. We tell you how to get the most out of your business event.
Speaker’s speech in the business program
The most common format of participation in the speaker’s presentation is in one of the sections. Within the framework of one large forum/conference, there may be related sections that are close to the topic, so it is important to make sure that the section you choose suits your company and the topic of the report. Otherwise, the chances of interest in the audience are reduced.
Speaking in a business program promotes PR not only for the company but also for the speaker himself. Therefore, if your communication strategy involves the development of a personal brand of the first persons of the company, this format is definitely for you. Just like how CMO conferences are conducted. If the conference topic and content are good, it genuinely helps businesses grow.
Event sponsor/partner status
Most forums and summits offer companies partnership or sponsorship packages. General sponsor, official partner, session sponsor – each of the available formats implies a certain package of services and privileges. An average list of marketing opportunities might look like this:
● Status of an official partner/sponsor;
● Placement of the company’s logo on the event website and in all marketing materials;
● Placement of information about the company on the event page;
● Report of the speaker of the company at one of the sessions;
● Mention of the company in post-releases, final report/article;
● Opportunity to demonstrate an advertising video;
● Placing a roll-up, etc.
The specific content of the packages is determined by the organizers, but you can also request additional services (for example, placement of promotional materials on round tables and in participants’ bags).
You can conduct research right at the event! Interview participants by handing out questionnaires along with marketing materials. As motivation, you can offer a small reward for filling out the questionnaire, for example, sample kits of your products. It will also allow you to collect leads: invite survey participants to leave their contacts so that they can get some useful guide, instructions, etc. from you.
The most “visual” way of participation is placing the company’s stand at an industry exhibition. This provides an opportunity to demonstrate the brand’s products and its benefits to potential customers directly, as well as to build relationships with partners and investors.
The company’s stand is a key asset at such an event. Its design should be exclusive so that you can stand out from the competition and grab the attention of the audience. Think carefully about what products you will showcase. Preference should be given to novelties, unique products that will not be found at the stands of other companies, as well as those products that you can demonstrate in action within the framework of the exhibition. If the demonstration seems problematic, use multimedia devices or even virtual (VR) or augmented reality (AR) technologies for these purposes – you will definitely not be left without attention.
Here we are talking about non-core events that are nevertheless relevant to your company. For example, the Tork brand, a manufacturer of professional hygiene products, provides its products for culinary competitions and chef master classes. And DHL Express is a logistics partner for major events, including the transportation of racing cars for Formula 1.
Consider how you can contribute to activities in your sector. Such partnerships do not go unnoticed.
Press event for journalists
The audience of business events is not only potential customers and market representatives but also journalists from business and industry publications. It can be difficult to establish communication with them at the event itself: they also listen to reports or communicate with other speakers. However, you can play ahead of the game and discuss with the organizers the possibility of holding a closed press event after your speech. Any forum/conference has a list of information partners, so you can count on representatives of the media indicated in it. At the same time, you must understand what you want to interest journalists with because you invited them. It is possible that after your presentation they will have questions, but you yourself should prepare some interesting topics.
You need to get the audience interested in your presentation at the conference even before it starts. An interview in one of the industry media, published shortly before date X, will help you with this. Tell us about your participation in the upcoming event, and highlight the topic of your report and the issues that you will reveal within it. Your task is to make sure that the participants are waiting not only for the beginning of the conference itself but also for your report on it.
Invitation to your own event
If for some reason you could not take part in the event you are interested in, organize your own! And your ingenuity will allow you to attract the target audience: on the day of a major forum, distribute invitations not far from its venue (in the hours before and after it). It is not prohibited and is effective.