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Heading to CES? I Am for the First Time.

How to plan your pre-event marketing in a few simple steps.

I’ve been in the trade show and events industry for over fifteen years but hadn’t made it to The International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) until this year. Although I’m a first-time attendee at CES, I’m aware of its status as the elite show for showcasing the latest technology and innovations.

My background is in events production, so when attending a large conference, I think of the logistics and operations behind it. There are many things to consider when planning an event, trade show exhibit, or conference. Over the last few years, my angle has been from a digital perspective, so I’m excited to get started!

Like most other shows, CES starts the moment the event is announced to the world. So as an exhibitor, what considerations should go into your pre-show marketing and planning? Below is a step-by-step guide (I use the term ‘trade show’ but this can apply to an event, conference, etc.):

  1. Understand your audience. Who will be attending? Use your CRM database and consult with your sales teams to learn about your targeted personas. Create a database of attendees that you want to invite. Consider your exhibit from their point of view and ask, “What is the attendee taking away from this?

  2. Work with your creative team on designing digital assets that can be used for all marketing purposes, keeping the trade show and brand guidelines in mind.

  3. Prepare email campaigns. Plan on sending several emails before the trade show. CES does an excellent job actively communicating logistics, including how to register, where to pick up your badge, and how to get to your hotel. All these details should be shared in advance via email and social media.

  4. Create a strong social media presence that supports your website. The information should coordinate and cross-pollinate between platforms and channels. Short and punchy messages keep the attention of your audience.

  5. Your website should include detailed information about the show. This information needs to be updated regularly with relevant changes. You can create a new website for the show or a dedicated page on your company’s website. Some companies offer registration and website creation, a one-stop shop to manage all registration aspects if you don’t have an in-house team.

  6. Promote your event with Google Ads and other online advertising platforms. Google is the most used tool for this and allows you to set a specific daily or weekly budget. These ads will redirect to your website to attract more attendees to register.

  7. Overcommunicate! Leading up to the trade show start date, you will want to send daily emails with easy-to-digest information that your attendees will appreciate before getting there. We all get bombarded with emails, so be precise and provide simple information that is a quick read.

The above steps are simple pre-show actions that will pay off once the trade show starts. Depending on the size of your team, you may need to partner with an agency or vendor.

Skyline offers consultation and support with all pre-event marketing efforts, specifically in the digital world. This is your first interaction with your attendees, so investing time in working on strategy, messaging, branding, and communication plans is essential.

For more information, feel free to connect with us. We’ll be happy to explore more opportunities on how to showcase your brand!