Activate your sponsorship! Become a partner in the promotion of the Pennsylvania Garden Expo.
If you’ve sponsored events by Journal Publications Inc. before, then you've probably heard of the term "activation" to mean the marketing activities a company conducts to promote its sponsorship. When you pay money or trade services to be a part of any program, you should always be thinking about ways to maximize your exposure. The JPI Expo team will provide you with event materials to help you spread the word about your sponsorship. Use what we give you and help us promote the event. After all, if your logo appears on our materials, you're helping to promote yourself and your involvement too!
Maximize your exposure at the event
Don't just concentrate on your exposure before the event, but also think about how to maximize your exposure at the event. Every sponsor receives a presence, so think ahead about your space and prepare. Your booth is your real estate, and like a homeowner preparing for sale, you have to stage your space. A bare-bones table with some brochures on top won't draw in the attendees. Make sure you have plenty of product available for sale, or if you are a service provider, find a way to dress up your space and catch the eye of attendees. Large displays are great, but they do cost money. Perhaps rent one? If your budget is tight, consider having a branded giveaway to send home with attendees or a drawing for a free consultation or service from your company. Have a poster or sign created to display at your booth that tells attendees that you have something free to give away - everyone likes free stuff! If you are still stuck and need help staging your space, contact us at 717-236-4300 and we'll be happy to put you in touch with a company that can help you with your exhibit space.
Don't just send potential customers home with a bunch of literature about your product or service (most of them will never read it). If you sell a tool or piece of equipment, see if you can find a way to demonstrate the product. If you make garden-influenced art or build handcrafted items, show off your talent inside your booth. Even if demonstrations aren't possible, there are other ways to interact with attendees. Just be courteous to the exhibitors around you and do not conduct demonstrations that may be unsafe. Make an impression on attendees and then send them home with your business card (don't forget to bring plenty along!).
Don't forget to have the right people representing your company at the event. Some individuals aren't comfortable talking with strangers or talking in front of a group of people. If your employee feels uncomfortable, most likely he/she will make others feel uncomfortable too.
Check your contract to see what other event-day benefits you receive and take full advantage of those benefits. Opportunities like stage time, introducing speakers and even extra event tickets give your company added exposure.
Help Attendees Remember You
You need to have a strong presence at the event to be remembered, but don't let event attendees forget about you. Your sponsorship of the event can benefit you before event day (through activation), on event day (a great presence!) and even after the event takes place. One of the ideas above was to send attendees home with a branded freebie. Not only is this a cheaper option (depending on the freebie) than a large, professional display, but it sends attendees home with your company's name. Brochures do the same; however, unless the attendee specifically saves your brochure because you did make a lasting impression, your brochure won't get as much attention as let's say, a tablet or a pen...or even something more useful or neat!
Before the event, create some realistic, measurable goals. Then during the event, collect contact information from visitors to your booth to meet those objectives. Maybe your goal is to gain 50 contacts per day? One way to collect contacts is through a door prize. Ask attendees to drop a business card (also provide notecards to write down contact information) into a jar for the chance to win something. You could also have a sign-up sheet for your e-newsletter, magazine or any other information you send out. If you make any good leads at the event (even with other exhibitors), take the time to label or number your leads while you're at the event and the people are fresh in your mind. When you return to the office and play catch-up on your other work, you'll be grateful for prioritizing your leads so you know where to start with follow-ups.
These are tips and pointers that we've received over the years of producing events. If you have an idea or practice that you would like to share with us, we appreciate the advice. As we've said before, we are committed to helping you have a great experience at the Pennsylvania Garden Expo.