Expos in aviation – Maximising event marketing

  • The average cost of customer acquisition at a trade show is around 65% less than a typical sales call.
  • Did you know that the average total cost of exhibiting at a trade show is roughly 3 times that of the exhibition space itself?

With 20 aviation & aerospace exhibitions and 44 travel, transportation & tourism tradeshows every year in Europe alone, there’s a plethora of opportunities to boost leads and sales significantly if used efficiently.

It’s said that 75% of those attending trade shows and exhibitions are usually at the later stages of the purchase process. They also tend to differ from the average customer as they are actively seeking engagement.
These two characteristics of exhibit attendees, as well as the number of trade shows available to our industry, means that if you choose your exhibitions wisely and optimise your presence at the event, the return on investment (ROI) potential is high.

Before researching where you should exhibit, or indeed if you should exhibit at all, there are three questions one needs to ask oneself:

  1. What are my objectives?

  2. Who am I targeting?

  3. What is my budget?

If exhibiting is not a good use of resources, attending as a visitor gives you added mobility and freedom to move around the show. Make sure you know who is exhibiting and attending, and make sure they know that you’re there too. Consider sponsoring events, advertising, holding a press conference or appearing on a discussion panel to promote your brand with less expense

  • Hold a raffle with business cards to really boost your contact list.

  • Be green - Use USB sticks or QR codes to give your visitors easy access to digital content

  • Typically, only 1 in 4 leads are followed up after an event.

Before… make sure people know where to find you! The more people you reach, the bigger your potential audience at the event and the more quality leads you’re likely to generate. Ensure you promote your presence at events:

  • Company website announcements
  • Advertising and PR
  • Social Media
  • HTML email campaigns

During… be proactive in engaging audiences. Having an open and welcoming stand is not to be taken for granted. Be strategic when planning your exhibition stand in terms of location, orientation, layout and design. Make sure it communicates your brand effectively and is set to easily attract your target audiences.

Update social media regularly with breaking news, event updates and other interesting titbits. Use popular hash tags to ensure you’re reaching the right audiences. Following online conversation also helps to keep you informed too.

Marketing collateral such as brochures, magazines and promotional goodies are a good way of enhancing brand communication. But when deciding what to offer, you need to consider branding, relevance, audience appeal, cost and logistics.

In order to make the most of any audiences that you do attract, lead generation is crucial. Scanning badge barcodes it’s quick and efficient but can prove to be costly, whilst simply collecting business cards is extremely cheap but requires time to manually input following the event.

After… follow up leads ASAP. Add new contacts to your CRM system and categorise leads according to priority. Recap previous discussions, provide any relevant or requested information and give a strong call to action (e.g. arranging a meeting) when contacting leads. Use social media for ongoing engagement and remember to add new contacts to mailing lists.

Author: Sindy Foster