Pre-Show Marketing: A Foundation for Success at GIE+Expo
GIE+EXPO is one of the biggest events for the landscaping and light construction markets. It’s a can’t-miss show. Yet it’s easy to think your booth is enough to see unmitigated success at the event. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
Even the biggest brands need to highlight their presence at GIE+EXPO. Nobody will assume you’re there and look for you. It’s your responsibility to let people know where you’ll be and keep top-of-mind with attendees.
To do this, you need to employ a pre-show marketing campaign. It can be a deciding factor for success at the show.
What should the campaign look like?
Your campaign should align with your event objectives.
Broadly speaking, if you’re looking to drive awareness for your brand or product, you need a campaign that gets people to your booth, demonstration area, or the new product showcase. It’s important to use multiple methods to distribute your messaging.
You need to stay top-of-mind as people prepare for the show.
What you need to accomplish will determine how you go about building a pre-show marketing campaign. Having disparity between the two will likely jumble your efforts, causing your event ROI to plummet.
How can you reach the industry before GIE+EXPO?
There are a number of methods you can use to reach GIE+EXPO attendees before they get to the show. Each is an essential ingredient to craft an effective campaign to accomplish your goals. Let’s explore a few of these below:
More and more, digital media is becoming an important resource for landscapers and contractors. Our latest research shows internet usage commonplace, with usage statistics at around 99.9% for landscapers and 92.1% for contractors. Banner and search ads can help you get in front of your audience wherever they are online and keep your booth top-of-mind.
Social media should be used for a dual paid and organic strategy. While you can reach some of your followers with organic social media, you will probably want to include a paid social media campaign. This will help you get information out to your fans and followers, but also increase your reach to a broader industry audience.
Email is a great way to get your event presence out to a very specific and tailored audience. More importantly, it’s a powerful method for reaching the audiences at GIE+EXPO, both of which list mobile email usage above 80%. However, you can’t just send out an email. You need an email list to send to. If you don’t have a list, you can work with media partners to send emails out to attendees and the larger industries.
Direct mail still has an important place in any good marketing campaign. Sending a postcard or invitation to your best prospects can add a more personal touch. Mail can be expensive, but it may have a big payoff. If you’re working with a smaller budget, you may want to limit who you target. Sending to current customers or prospects with high purchase intent can help you maintain and cultivate important relationships and maximize your ROI.
GIE+EXPO is a big show your audience attends, but showing up isn’t a guarantee for success. People need to know where you are and have a valid reason to stop by. And it’s your job to get them there. Building a pre-show campaign that aligns with landscaper and contractor media usage habits is the best way to make sure you’re laying a solid foundation for success at GIE+EXPO.