If you are planning on taking your brand out of the factory and in front of potential customers, here are five top tips to maximise your impact at your next big show:
1. Understanding experiential
Real experiential marketing engages all the senses: touch, taste, sight, sound and scent. It’s proven that the more sensory triggers you can stimulate with your customers, the greater their recall will be both after the event and at the crucial future point of purchase. Many brands without expertise in this area leave it to some roll up display banners and a platter of taster pieces to perform this role – which can leave recipients both uninspired and indifferent.
Events are your ideal chance to bring your brand to life, so get creative with your displays. Think about displaying whole ingredients which go into the produce and the brand story that each product represents. After thousands of years of evolution – our brains are hard wired to switch on when they see a bountiful array of fresh and healthy produce, attractively displayed. Especially at shows, customers are eager to learn about product origins and authenticity of your produce.
QUICK CASE STUDY: Cheese specialists Norseland created three mini event areas within their compact sampling space, each representing the unique brand attributes and proposition for their range of cheeses: Beach hut for Mexicana – grilled onto nachos, smoke house for Applewood – served with hot pasta and a giant cheese wheel for Jarlsberg – served with sliced pear on rye bread.
2. What about the sixth sense?
No – I’m not talking about the paranormal in case you were trying to read my mind; but emotion. Beyond the five basic senses, events are your brand’s ideal opportunity to emotionally engage with potential customers. Have fun, share some laughter and encourage them to climb the love ladder to your brand.
How? A simple game, a fun challenge and bit of light hearted banter goes a long way to firmly cement the interaction experience and positive brand association with your brand. These positive emotions resurface when the customer is shopping on aisle for months or years after – and making the all important buying decisions about which brand to buy today. They also create a spectacle on your stand, that attracts more people over to see what all the excitement is about.
QUICK CASE STUDY: A simple fun fishing game, using a hook on a string created opportunities for laughter and excitement, with trade audiences eagerly egging each other on to catch a fishy prize.
3. The urgent Vs important matrix
We can all optimistically agree that in theory – attending shows should be about creating loyal customers who you can re-engage with for the long term. Customer data capture and social media is key to achieve this, but when the show is packed, customers are queuing – who has time to do that in addition to the sampling and sales?
There’s a really useful ‘important Vs urgent’ principal to understand in management that applies to many areas of life – and live events are no exception. In summary, the concept is that while we all know that there are a wide array of important tasks that need doing; when time critical tasks pop up (like queuing customers) they get done first – and often at the expense of the important ones (like data capture).
So how can you overcome this common pitfall? The solution is specific job role allocation – which is often where a specialist promotional staffing agency like Link Communication can help you make a big difference. If you have an experienced brand ambassador who understands that their primary job role is to capture contact data – you will come away with hundreds or thousands of data sets from each day. In terms of cost investment, the extra man power is a fraction of the site fee costs, so should be an essential element of your strategy.
QUICK CASE STUDY: In busy freshers’ fairs, First Buses use our teams to capture over 10,000 unique data sets from students every year, in order to sell them bus passes on an ongoing basis throughout their student life and beyond.
4. Whose job is it anyway?
So at £300 per square meter – your budgets are no doubt already squeezed, but it’s a false economy to think you can do it effectively if all yourself. ‘There’s no fool like a busy fool’, the old adage says. An important factor in getting the most out of your events is considering what types of activities you want to include on your event area – and then allocate job roles and personnel to fulfil them.
This can differ for each unique event area, but some examples can include:
– Promotional puller – encouraging people onto your event area
– Catering prep – creating perfectly presented tasters to sample
– Front of house – offering tasters and talking with customers
– Sales manager – encouraging purchase and taking payments
– Data capture – making sure everyone gives their details before they move on!
– Game manager – someone to lead and supervise the fun challenge
– Social media – taking those selfies and posting them on line
– Event manager – optimising efficiency and all bases are covered!
QUICK CASE STUDY: Traditional sausage makers Debbie and Andrew’s used pre-planned teams to produce thousands of hot tasters, sell retail packs, hand out vouchers – and even lead interactions with a fun sausage shy throwing challenge.
5. Do me a deal!
While you can sell your produce at shows, you should understand that shows are not shops. In a noisy, crowded food show with delicious competition all fighting for the customers’ attention and purse – creating a simple, clear sales deal is pivotal at maximising your sales.
With only a few days to interact with tens of thousands of people, their time should not be spent making complex buying decisions and your time wasted fiddling for small change. Life is too short anyway, but shows definitely are! By creating some special show deals, your customers don’t have to evaluate the options and work out what presents the best value. You’re only kidding yourself if you think they really are ‘thinking about it’ when they say they’ll think about it! Most won’t even make the effort.
The deals are variable according to your produce, but showing an RRP of £6.99 with a show deal of £5.00 each or three for £10.00 is a ‘no brainer’ when it comes to working out what’s great value. The offer should be clearly displayed on printed show cards, next to the samples and packaged produce. For top marks – add in some branded bags to create thousands of mobile adverts all around the show too.
QUICK CASE STUDY: To embed the adoption of their new hands free soap dispenser, Dettol sold the base unit and first full refill for a discounted show deal of £5.00 each (RRP £9.99). Customers at the Ideal Home Show thought that was a strong offer and over £45,000 of immediate sales was generated, smashing all expectations on what they had estimated – and firmly securing the future of the continued stock listing in supermarkets by creating long term repeat purchase demand.
Get in touch!
As an experiential agency, we are privileged to attend every type of event and show you can imagine – and no doubt some you never even knew existed too. With 20 years of experience working with both flagship brand leaders and fledgling start ups – we have the breadth of knowledge to make your event really work.
Get in touch for a friendly chat and some creative ideas!
Managing Director – Link Communication
0113 278 7808