How to Use Influencer Marketing at Conferences and Trade Shows | Intelligence | Open mic

Influencer marketing isn’t just relegated to digital formats like Facebook. In the larger world of PR, several offline channels may use influencers to achieve their goals. For example, industry conferences and trade shows are obvious channels of influence that are often overlooked.

Here we look at how influencer marketing can be used at conferences and trade shows. For the purposes of this article, we can consider trade shows, exhibitions, industry-specific fairs and conferences to be the same general concept. Although there are differences as to whether marketing is strictly B2B or B2C (due to the public or private nature of these events), and despite the growing popularity of virtual events in recent years, we strictly view online events. nobody here.

How does trade show marketing sponsorship work?

Have organized events for the Organization of digital marketersI find that there are multiple sponsorship marketing avenues businesses can use to reach their target audience:

1.) Gift Items

Branded merchandise such as mugs, pens, water bottles, notebooks, and other bulk items that can be used daily by the target audience gain some awareness through passive branding. The promotional gift can occur both directly from the table or booth space and indirectly in the form of the welcome bag.

2.) Wearable swag items

The idea behind wearable swag items is that the high cost translates into a better return on investment by allowing attendees to use them when interacting with other attendees. This includes t-shirts, hoodies, hats, shoes, backpacks and more.

3.) Lanyards

Lanyards are somewhat unique in that they are not swag items, but are worn religiously throughout the event period, acting as a cohesive brand image.

4.) Event and Section Sponsorships

Although it varies by conference, these types of sponsorships are usually associated with a variety of branding opportunities splashed around the conference venue in the form of clean hanging stickers, thank you messages on slides, and a variety of other logo-rich brands designed to be seen. by the participants.

5.) Paid Speaker

Not all conferences offer this as a sponsorship opportunity, but some will offer a speaking slot as part of a sponsorship package, allowing a company to establish itself as a thought leader in the industry. ‘space.

6.) Booth and table space

The sponsorship most often thought of at trade shows is booth space, which allows a business to showcase its product or service in person to potential buyers.

What types of influence exist for these types of sponsorship?

Remember that the three most common types of influencers are ambitious, authoritative and peers. Aspiration is often viewed through the prism of celebrity influence, authority is the appeal to authoritative expertise, and peer influence is that which we encounter daily from our friends, our family, our neighbors and others in our peer group.

The type of influence best suited for each type of sponsorship will depend on how we calculate using the utility matrix. I use a 1, 2 or 3 (3 being the highest score) to explain the power a type has for each attribute:

In gift loot, the most logical choice is peer influence. Everyone present will hopefully receive the loot and so it may be exclusive in the sense of having shown that one attended a particular conference by receiving the loot. Many years later, I could use a pen from an SEO conference in front of someone else who was also there, rekindling the shared connection.

Wearable swag is an even deeper connection than gift swag. In some cases, this may seem like peer influence, but over time it acts as an authoritative signal. Showing up to a conference wearing the swag of 10 years ago establishes that individual as someone with deeper experience. Plus, consider the power of having the wearable swag provided to a select group of industry experts at the event, paying them to wear the swag all on the same day. The co-option of this authoritative influence in numbers could be perceived by new entrants in the industry as a de facto endorsement of a product or service.

Lanyards are worn not only at the event, but also after parties. Possession of the badge hanging from the lanyard is a pass for all activities of the event. Asking to see a participant’s badge is to check if they are part of the group, a signal of peer influence.

Event and chapter level sponsorships are a mix of influencer types. On the one hand, it is a method of establishing a peer-to-peer rapport among event attendees, but it often also allows the sponsor to act as host for certain aspects of the conference, which helps to appeal to authority among participants. As an example, the cocktail hour host sponsor is perceived to provide benefits to attendees, and in conversations, it may be deferred.

Speakers at a conference are very obviously considered authoritative; in some cases, such as very big shows, they can also be a minor celebrity influence for those who one day want to share the stage as well. Attendees can both be informed by speakers and want to be the speakers.

For the most part, the physical space of sponsors is used in conjunction with other types of sponsors such as swag, so it becomes an amplifier of peer influence. Depending on other services provided at the booth, such as offering a real-time value proposition in the form of a product or service demonstration directly to an attendee’s specific needs, level information expert can bias towards an authoritative influence.

I hope this convinces you that influencers are not just a construction of digital marketers. For your company’s next event, consider how sponsorships could be used to increase influence to achieve your own goals.

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