August 7th, 2019 | Nick Jones
Social influencers, mobile apps, and emerging technology like virtual and augmented reality have all contributed greatly to the event industry, providing marketers with more progressive tools to reach and engage potential attendees.
At the same time, live event marketing remains a challenge. Many events are specialized affairs designed for specific participants or appeal to a particular audience, which means targeting and attendance are tantamount to success. Some people may search for an event online and even join an event group on social media, but that doesn’t mean they’ll show up the day of your event. Conversely, not all attendees do prior research on events or join communities that allow marketers to make them aware of upcoming trade shows.
One thing’s for certain, though: location marketing can drive more of the right consumers to your door, and when used to its full potential, it can support the deep level of engagement your brand is looking for.
As is the case with retailers, event marketers must prioritize location. Location targeting has the unique ability to precisely pinpoint consumers in the physical world, allowing brands to serve them ads when the time is right. What’s more, serving ads for trade shows and other events in real-time while attendees are nearby enables you to drive ancillary actions, like visiting a specific booth, booking lodging for a future business trip, or visiting an exhibitor’s store around the corner to take advantage of a special offer or promotion.
Many marketers turn to social media and search as their primary means of promoting events, but trade show marketing, display booth marketing, and other forms of live event marketing require more than these channels alone. For example, for non-ticketed events you don’t want to focus solely on reaching people who have sought out information online.
Whether someone’s already planning to attend or simply happens to be walking by your locale, their intentions may not be evident by their online activity — but you can certainly influence them on the spot. By combining hyper-local targeting and audience targeting, you can connect with consumers who have attended your events in the past and will likely come again, as well as potential visitors in the general vicinity of your venue who may be influenced to attend through actionable, event-driven content.
As useful as it is to marketers prior to an event, location data also offers value post-conference. Re-targeting audiences with messaging that reinforces the idea or value proposition of your event is a good opportunity to deliver complementary messaging that enhances their perception of your brand, or build on the core message that was delivered at the event itself.
By remarketing with content specific to the event’s content (for instance, “click here to learn more about XXX panel discussion topic”), you can make your ads ultra-relevant to the audience that’s viewing them. Remember, people who have already attended your events are already qualified as interested parties because they’ve made that extra effort to engage with your brand. Leverage this affinity to strengthen your relationship and work toward meeting your marketing goals.
Location targeting takes many forms, but when it comes to event marketing, and maximising a trade exposure, we recommend creating Custom Blueprints. GroundTruth’s team of location experts can map physical locations of any shape or size to capture all types of audiences, whether it’s people networking inside a conference center or tailgating in a nearby parking lot.
Another approach is to create Custom Audiences using GroundTruth Blueprints. These are audiences of consumers who have attended certain events in the past and are likely to attend again. Re-targeting these consumers, leading up to and following an event, with relevant content is a great way to maximize your ad spend, limit wasted impressions, and increase your overall number of attendees. Depending on your objectives, you can also reduce waste by serving ads only to people already at the event, rather than those that are just nearby.
Location targeting technology makes it possible to serve mobile ads at peak event hours and filter out employees, so there’s no danger of showing messages intended for attendees to staff by mistake. With a cross-device strategy, you can even promote your event to potential and past attendees while they’re at home or at work to create an omnichannel promotional experience.
Events bring like-minded people together. If you want to target a group that acts on their shared affinities for brands or concepts, targeting event attendees is a perfect way to do so. Through location marketing, GroundTruth not only allows you to drive attendance to events, but also to maximize your brand’s potential to engage with and extend relationships to your new and existing customers.