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Four reasons why your annual event needs to go on tour

When it comes to annual events and conferences, tech giants Apple and Microsoft are famous for putting on impressive shows that capture worldwide attention – both at the exhibition and away from it.

Perhaps less obvious is the way in which both brands complement their big shows with a series of strategic events at a local level. Apple’s retail stores become hubs of activity with every new product launch and Microsoft often utilises popular retail stores to promote its latest developments.

Live events offer marketers a proven tactic to engage with audiences on a personal level, but even the world’s biggest brands understand that it’s not enough to just rely on a single event with a guest speaker, a packed audience and a demonstration of the latest innovation.

Of course the evolution of digital technology had made it possible to transmit these events to a wider audience. Recordings or live broadcasts shared online and through social media offer increased visibility and heightened awareness, but the power of the immersive environment gets lost along the way.

The fear with any big event is what happens if you don’t manage to get all of your key targets in the room? After all, what’s the point in spending your entire marketing budget in one hit if the right people don’t get to see it?

B2B Marketing Roadshow

This is a problem that many brands in the tech world and other sectors are facing. Their customers are often spread across multiple territories and it’s unrealistic to expect all of them to visit a single location at a certain point in the year. Yes it might be possible to repeat the event on a smaller scale in a couple of major cities but this takes time, added resource, and if your brand has international reach, it’s virtually impossible to cover them all in a relatively short amount of time.

It’s important to leverage more from your big events in order to reach local markets and decision makers that are relevant to your brand, and you can do it by taking your event on a roadshow tour. It’s possible to take all of the best ingredients from your live event and package them up into a smaller, bespoke space that you can send all around the world.

Here are four reasons why putting your big exhibition on the road could make all the difference to your marketing strategy:

1. Create personal relationships

Imagine you have a selection of key clients based in another region or country thousands of miles away that can’t make it to your big show. Think about how good they’d feel if you took the roadshow event to a city near them. You’d be able to offer them an exclusive invitation to an exhibition you’ve taken to a location that’s more convenient for them. I’m yet to meet anyone that wouldn’t be impressed with that kind of effort and the face-to-face interaction always helps to forge stronger relationships with existing customers and establish personal connections with prospective ones.

2. Support for your sales team

I speak with a lot of sales teams around the world and I often hear the same issue – striking up a meaningful conversation with a potential customer can be one of their biggest challenges. New product launches or services give them that opportunity, but a live roadshow event gives them a genuine reason to call the customer and personally invite them to something. Post-event, there’s another opportunity to reopen the dialogue and build on the positive
sub-conscious feelings your live event will have left on them.

3. Target new growth areas

If there’s a particular part of the world where your brand is looking to establish a footprint, a mobile exhibition is a powerful way to help you achieve it. From the complex terrain of the Middle East to the cultural subtleties of places like Russia, with the right support you can extend your reach across the global environment and tap into new territories like never before.

4. Drive more local activity

A roadshow exhibition is a fantastic driver for content. From hashtags to press coverage, your live event can be a catalyst for local activity and help spread your message far and wide. Events allow your target audience to engage in a face-to-face, live customer experience, leaving a lasting impression and creating on the ground brand ambassadors.

Putting it into practice

Any business can harness the power of mobile live event marketing with the right support and, executed successfully, it can leave a lasting, brand-focused impression and an experience that will resonate across your target markets long after the event has finished.

One of our most recent campaigns for a leading technology company involved replicating the global live event experience through a mobile conference exhibition, delivering the brand’s message to local markets that couldn’t attend the annual show across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Cassie Kendrew

Cassie Kendrew View Full Profile

Cassie Kendrew first joined EMS in 2011 and has over 15 years’ industry experience in marketing and project management, both at home in Europe and within the vibrant Middle East region. As Commercial Director for EMS, Cassie’s unparalleled blend of operational understanding, logistics management and marketing insight has enabled multiple global brands to deliver key marketing campaigns and leading employee engagement tours.

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