Category Archives: Exhibitor Retention

Raise Money for Charity

Raise Money for your Charity

Almost every association we work with has a charity that they support.  Associations typically will run a fund raising event during the show.  This can range from a party, to a 10K run, to a golf tournament.  The money raised during the event is important.  For events that want to raise additional money and awareness for their charities, we have an idea.give-to-charity

Pre and post show email marketing programs are designed to bring attention to an exhibitor’s booth to drive more traffic and generate more leads.  Integrating the event’s charity with this type of email program can also bring more awareness to the charity while raising additional revenue for a good cause.

It’s a simple idea.  Here are the benefits:

  1. A portion of the revenue from the pre-show exhibitor email marketing program can be donated to the charity.  This is the most obvious benefit, but not necessarily the most impactful.
  2. Probably the biggest benefit is bringing more awareness to the charity by getting the message out to all the attendees with multiple touch points.  Emails sent to attendees from exhibitors can include a small JPG that either asks for donations, or encourages participation in the show’s charity event. For the events we work with, we integrate the charity’s message into all our communications with the exhibitors as well.
  3. And lastly, exhibitors that use the program will be happy to know that a portion of their show marketing dollars are supporting a good cause.

How to Write a Top Performing Trade Show Email

EMAIL-Envelope-Image-2Over the last 3 years, we at Event Technologies have sent over 1.25 million pre and post show emails to trade show attendees on behalf of over 1,000 exhibitors.  We have learned a lot along the way, especially that sending emails to attendees requires a very different strategy from other email marketing efforts (newsletters, emails to prospects, customer relations, etc.).  We did a brief analysis of the top performing emails and the bottom performing emails and here is what we found:

Subject line

The subject line is arguably the most important part of your email.  It will often determine whether or not the recipient opens your email.  You can have the best designed email of all time, but if the recipient doesn’t open it they won’t ever see it.  What we found was pretty basic, but seemingly extremely important.  The emails that mentioned the show name in the subject far outperformed those that did not.

Pre-show:  Of the top 50 performing emails (by open rate), 44 of them mentioned the show name.  Of the bottom 50 performing emails (by open rate), only 16 of them mentioned the show name.  Pre show emails that used the show name in the subject line had an open rate of 24%.  Those that didn’t mention the show name had an open rate of 18%.

Post-show:  Of the top 50 performing emails (by open rate), 40 of them mentioned the show name.  Of the bottom 50 performing emails (by open rate), only 18 of them mentioned the show name.  Pre show emails that used the show name in the subject line had an open rate of 30%.  Those that didn’t mention the show name had an open rate of 26%.

Content

Once the email is opened, we gauge the success of an email by the click through rate.  Emails need a clear call to action and something compelling that will entice the recipient to click through to your site.  Here is an analysis of the top 50 performing emails and what they offered.

Top50Preshow

For pre-show emails, the most successful emails promote an event at the show.  Parties, hosted breakfasts, dinners, and live music.  There is always a clear call to action (Click Here to RSVP to our Event) so it makes sense that these emails perform so well.  Unfortunately, not all companies host large parties at every trade show.  If your company is not hosting any special events, we recommend you promote any new content your company has, a free giveaway in your booth, any seminars and presentations your company is involved in and/or a new product launch.  Make sure to have a clear call to action – Click here to RSVP, click to register, click to download, etc.

Top 50 Post show

Post show emails need to take a different approach.  Because the event is over, exhibitors can’t promote an event.  It’s clear that for post show emails content is king.  eBooks are popular as are whitepapers, case studies and session recaps.  If you don’t have any new content to link to, other ideas that perform well are continuing to promote a giveaway from the show, product launches and showcases, and job  postings.  Again, make sure to have a clear call to action – click to register, click to download, etc.

Conclusion

In conclusion, when constructing a trade show email make sure to mention the show name in the subject line and promote your most enticing offerings with clear calls to actions.  Additionally, mentioning that content in the subject line along with the show name will also help get your message read by the recipients.

If you would like to talk to Kevin Ehlers of Event Technologies regarding email marketing to attendees, you can contact him at kevin@event-techs.com.  To continue to read the Event Technologies Blog, click here: http://www.event-techs.com/blog/

To share the registration list with your exhibitors or not to share…that is the question!

At the IAEE Expo! Expo! tradeshow last week (December 9-11, 2014), we spoke with tradeshow eShowMail Movieorganizers that struggle with the question of whether or not to allow their exhibitors to send emails to their attendees using the show’s registration list.  Some have had terrible things happen with their attendee list, including one organizer, from a big show, that found out that one of their exhibitors was reselling the list.  This is not uncommon.

Offering access to the registration list helps selected exhibitors drive booth traffic, increases exhibitor ROI and thus retention rates.  However, how do you reconcile providing this service when you have exhibitors that commonly SPAM the list or betray your trust by sharing or selling the list to non exhibitors. Continue reading

CEIR Data Suggests Exhibitor Retention Strategy

Trade Show FloorIf your company hosts trade shows and exhibitions, exhibitor retention is a very important part of your strategic plan. The cost of exhibitor attrition is high with estimates from Competitive Edge placing the cost for a show with 450 exhibitors and a retention rate of 75% at well over $250,000 on average. The cost goes up dramatically if the attrition rate approaches 40% as in some events or if the departing companies are the large anchor exhibitors. Whatever the show organizer can do to enhance the exhibitor retention rate will have a significant impact on the show’s bottom line. Continue reading