Tackling "Last Day of Show" Challenges

Jen Borucki | September 28, 2016

The last day of show is typically a slow traffic day for exhibitors, with many attendees using this as a travel day. At the same time, we often face pressure to make this a productive day for our trade show and event marketing program. How can you address this dichotomy?

Here are five ways exhibitors can attack the “last day” challenges:

  • Go for the numbers. Make some spectacular offer on closing day that drives the remaining floor traffic to your booth so you have amazing numbers to show upper management. Filet mignon and champagne, free money, an all-expense paid vacation. Who wouldn’t take you up on that offer? You’ll have impressive gross numbers, but your hot leads will probably be no better than if you hadn’t pulled out all the stops. Is the hit in ROI and ROO worth it?
  • Optimize your pre-show campaign. CEIR research shows that 76% of attendees pre-plan their agenda – which logically would include what days they will be at the show. Consider organizing a compelling pre-scheduled event that inspires a sense of urgency on the part of your guests and provide a great reason to stay another night before they make their travel plans. Leverage the wisdom of existing customers to see what experience might have traction.
  • Take advantage of show apps. Most associations offer an app that attendees can download weeks in advance of the show. Take advantage of this resource as an added platform to get your message across. You can probably send out blasts before the show doors open as well as throughout the event, extending your dialogue with key segments.
  • Set reasonable expectations among senior management. Educate leadership on where the sweet spots exist in your particular show schedule and help them understand the risk versus return scenario. Leverage your exhibit marketing partner to help you create your presentation – they probably have insight that can help your cause. If you create a stratified metric for evaluating success that spreads objectives across the duration of the show, you can help avoid micro-management on end-of-show expectations.
  • Make a PR splash. Your guests may not be in town, but you can still speak to them through social media and other PR opportunities. MG did this at Exhibitor 2016, when we created buzz around our “MGU” exhibit experience. On the final day of show, booth staff eagerly “tp’d” the booth – to the delight of many in attendance and others who saw evidence of this creativity through other media outlets. This may not be appropriate for your booth, but there are probably some attention-getting solutions you and your partner can come up with to give a viral spin.

You can’t change human behavior, but you can help make the most of your show calendar in ways that won’t compromise ROI.

Jen Borucki, HMCC, is a Marketing Communications Specialist for MG Design, a global full service experiential marketing partner with complete turnkey design, fabrication, marketing, service and labor offerings to successfully create experiences that enrich our clients, our team, our community and our world. In addition to answering your RFI/RFP questions, Jen also provides copywriting services through MG’s internal marketing services agency, magnify™. She recently obtained Healthcare Meeting Compliance Certification through MPI.