Ad Hack: Unconventional Convention Marketing

We did a little research and found that there are close to a gazillion different trade shows, conferences and conventions in the United States every year.  These range from consumer shows like Home and Garden shows and Des Moines’ own renowned Bacon Fest to very specialized B2B shows and conferences located in the biggest convention facilities in the biggest cities. From a marketing standpoint, the beauty of a trade show or conference is that it concentrates customers and prospects in one place. With the right strategy, it can be a smart way to touch base with key clients, develop relationships with industry influencers and provide an opportunity to create awareness and collect sales leads.

However, a savvy marketer knows that budgets are limited and you just can’t go to every trade show, right?  So you have to be smart about which ones will provide the most value (or which ones are in the most desirable locations). And, when you get there (or, hopefully before) you have to also figure out how to promote yourself among a jungle of competitors all vying for the same attention.

So, here’s a trade show ad hack for you: geofencing. What is geofencing? Imagine if you could draw the outline of the convention space on a map — and advertise via mobile ads to only those people who are in that space during that time. Online ad space on any websites they visit and within apps they use carry your message. Your ads in front of only people at the show (unless, of course, you also want to draw your outline around the official trade show hotel facilities as well).  Maybe it’s a show promotion or an offer. Maybe a sneak peek at a new product. Maybe it’s just your way to get your brand in front of this key audience frequently to promote brand recognition. It’s the digital equivalent to having someone stand at the entry door and hand out your information to everyone who walks in (or at least everyone who walks in with a mobile phone). That’s geofencing.

Even better? What if you ran a geofencing campaign at shows and events where you weren’t exhibiting? Maybe it’s a small regional show that is too small to justify attending, but you’d still like to have a brand presence with the audience attending. Boom! Your ad on the phones of anyone attending.

Want to learn more about how you can use digital marketing tools to market to a highly-targeted group like trade show attendees?  Drop us a line. We’d be happy to help!

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