With just six weeks left until 2018, no doubt you’ve already uttered the words “I’ll worry about it next year” more than a handful of times – I know, because I’m doing it too.
The new year is a time to reflect, rejuvenate, renew – and resolve to do things that we’ll abandon halfway through January. Don’t get me wrong, I agree that mistakenly pledging to live off the grid for an entire year isn’t particularly feasible - and have you seen how much CrossFit costs? – but there is one resolution that you can easily keep without putting it off another year: to make sure your appearance at an Education Trade Show delivers the best possible return on investment.
With huge events coming up in the first half of 2018, it’s vital you start planning your approach to maximise your appearance and avoid your hard work (and significant investment) going to waste.
All too often we speak with companies who’ve returned from trade shows, disappointed and confused as to why the interest generated on the day did not transform into actual sales after the event – despite often spending a significant portion of their annual marketing budget on stand and POS design, exhibition floor space, marketing literature, and more.
So, we ask how they promoted their appearance, what buyer persona data they collected from visitors on the day, and how they’ve nurtured their event leads since. And then they say “Eh?”, and we say “Oh”.
This is our cue to talk about our three-phase Edu-Events Packages that will ensure their next event is a roaring success.
First and foremost, there’s little point going all the way to a show if no one knows you’re going to be there. You’ll get a few visits from teachers, but there’s no guarantee they’ll fit your target audience criteria. They could just be after your free pens!
You need to conjure up an aura of anticipation with your target audience so they go out of their way to seek you out, rather than the other way around. They need to be half-sold on your product before they even get there, and have some solid encouragement as to why they should visit your stand. So how do you draw in teachers?
This great example in our Edu-Marketing Blueprints free report suggests creating a pre-event email strategy that promotes a printable golden ticket, which teachers can bring to your stand in return for entry into a prize draw to win a bundle of your best services for their school.
It’s a win-win situation for everyone; teachers will have the chance to win some much needed additional resources for their school, and you’ve started to build up a bank of potential leads before you’ve even set up your stand.
So, what does our pre-event package have to offer?
- A targeted email strategy delivered to teachers’ inboxes
- Content and design of your sequence of emails
Now that you’ve generated some interest in your product, and given your audience a great reason to seek you out on the day, it’s now all about making the most of the increased buzz about your stand.
Firstly, you should be ensuring that your stand’s banners and signage synergise with your email campaigns in order to ensure that teachers will instantly recognise your stand and be reminded of who you are. It’s also crucial that your signage is not just attractive, but has also been designed by somebody who understands how to engage teachers and create interest in the problems your product solves for them.
The most important thing you can do on the day, however, is to utilise a bespoke lead capturing system to ensure you get specific, useable contact details and buyer persona data from interested parties. Getting your visitors to complete a lead generation form, hosted on a specially designed landing page, will allow you to capture information that’s so much more useful than just the contact details gathered with the standard barcode scanner approach.
Specifically, you should be taking this opportunity to get your visitors to answer a couple of insightful buyer persona questions that help you zero in on their individual pain points. For example, what’s their biggest challenge during exam preparation, which maths topic do they dread teaching, or does their school have a BYOD initiative? This is the kind of information that’s going to really improve the effectiveness of your post-event marketing.
Our events package encompasses:
- Stand signage/banner design & printing
- A tablet-responsible event landing page
- An event attendee lead capture mechanism
Returning home from a tradeshow armed with a huge list of potential clients and a broad smile is exactly what we want to see - but the journey isn’t over yet.
You’ve met your customers, learned their pain points, and honed your sales pitch during the event itself. Now, it’s time to follow-up with a series of email campaigns to those that expressed an interest on the day, utilising the buyer persona data gathered by your form to zero in on their specific point of interest.
This is the crucial make-or-break phase of your events strategy that most sellers to schools get wrong or miss out entirely. Re-engaging visitors to your stand days or weeks after the event can be tough, which is why being able to utilise the buyer persona data is so invaluable.
What’s featured in our post-event strategy?
- A range of post-event follow-up options
- Content, design, and broadcast of your email sequence
- Sales enablement signatures for personal follow-ups
Whether you’re interested in just one of our individual solutions, or you’re looking at the whole three-solution shebang to make 2018 your year of successful tradeshow appearances, let one of our campaign managers help you get the ball rolling – and make sure it’s a resolution that won’t get broken.
Marketing to Schools
Selling to Teachers