How to Turn an Event Gimmick into your Star Attraction
83% of B2B marketers are heavily invested in events, with these budgets accounting for up to 30% of total marketing spend.
Event managers face continual challenges of finding new ways to attract attention, add value, cut costs and project brand values – all while proving ROI.
Some of our recent clients share how they created unforgettable events with our robots for their delegates, and measurable returns for the board.
Why we still love events
Events can put a business on the map. They are great platforms for launches and showcase all that’s new in a sector.
Reasons for exhibiting are many but collecting new contacts and raising brand awareness are usually two of the main ones: all while working with increasingly challenging budgets.
Getting noticed is key, of course to attracting potential new clients. But many businesses are still opting for single serving ‘landfill’ giveaways that have little to do with brand identity or marketing strategy.
As reported in Event Marketer as far back as 2010, Josh Margulies, then Trade Marketing Manager, now VP of Marketing at Logitech, said: ‘We’ve moved away from the T-shirt and keychain mentality for promotions … now we try to create something.’
Along with our changing perception of a worthwhile event takeaway, our perception of waste has changed too.
Many consumers see giveaways as throwaways that cause far more damage than good, tainting their opinion of the business: precisely the opposite effect you’re aiming for.
Standing out in event marketing today means creating an unforgettable experience.
It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it
We are a specialist service that does one thing: we provide robots for events. Yet our experiences and those of our clients can provide insights to any event marketer.
Our robots are still relatively new to the events scene. They are incredibly sophisticated and, as with most new technology, attract attention before they’re even turned on.
Of course, they get far more attention when they’re interacting with the crowd, working to their full capacity and, most importantly, working as part of a wider strategy.
With forward planning, ‘a day’s robot hire’ can be stretched out into campaigns before, during and after your event.
We asked some of our clients who reported great results in brand engagement, data capture and lead generation, how they turned an event gimmick into a star attraction:
“We’re a professional services company so don’t have anything like product samples to give away. We chose Robo4hire because a robot – being non-wasteful, innovative and future-looking – reflects our brand values perfectly without us having to spell it out.”
Being clever about which showpiece you go for will already say a lot about your brand values and corporate culture.
As this company found, in many ways the robot spoke for itself – before it actually did start speaking to the crowd.
“Don’t expect to be pitch perfect right away. Start by having something to say and, given time, you’ll be saying it well.”
Planning is important and the more time you can plan ahead of the event the better. Through script re-writes, this client discovered a strong message took on a life of its own that eventually struck the perfect chord.
With enough time to build on a strong vision, the messaging can be allowed to evolve. Genuine brand identity happens when messaging evolves to the point of sounding natural.
“A visually appealing showpiece should be used to the max. We planned well ahead and were able to use Boris for some short videos that we shared on social media and our website. Great value for money.”
Any value you can add to your event spend will improve your ROI. An important factor, when 70% of marketers, according to Marketing Profs, said the need to validate results from event marketing had increased in the last two years.
Planning ahead means you can stretch time with your star attraction. Imagine them presenting teaser videos, competition announcements or short ads – for little or no extra cost. Sharing these on social media or your website will add tremendous value to your investment.
“We loved working with the robot so much it made us focus on specific metrics so we could prove to the bosses it worked, and do it again!”
Decide what you want to achieve: more Twitter followers, an appearance in a prominent industry mag, 50 new leads. Whatever your goals, put your star attraction in the middle of your campaigns and work it hard.
Then measure all your results to start building your own data framework.
“Build relationships with suppliers and get them into the venue early.”
The earlier we can get to know characteristics of the venue and the team in charge, the better.
As suppliers, we also like to spend time getting to know our clients. We always encourage prospects to visit us and meet the robots to get a taste of what they can do.
This is also important for setting realistic expectations. Our robots are amazing but they can’t jump out of their box and tap dance, for instance. Not yet anyway.
“I couldn’t believe the emotional responses we got from the crowd. People light up when they engage with the robot, it’s quite unique.”
We remember moments that inspire an emotional response better than any others. Humans love robots: theories as to why range from narcissism to a desire for control.
Whatever your star attraction might be, choose one that tugs at your heart strings a little, if you want the best results.