When You Can Cut Some Corners

February 21, 2015

Lisa Apolinski

Lisa Apolinski is a professional speaker, blogger, and digital strategist. With her company, 3DogWrite.com, she works with event managers to get their message to attendees, particularly through digital channels, on and off the show floor.

I am sure many of you are reading the title and thinking, what?  But there are instances where you can cut corners, or in better terms, get a little creative, in your trade show marketing.  But beware when cutting the wrong corners can make for a mess.

Demonstrations:  Getting creative – making a demo that powerful, even if it is simple. You don’t need to have a Las Vegas type demonstration going on. Sometimes a simple demo can be powerful, if the message clearly ties into the booth, and it shows how your products and services can make the attendee’s life easier. Making a mess – showing that same demonstration year after year.  Not only does it show a lack of creativity, it makes it seem that your company doesn’t have anything new to offer the attendee.  That is a message you want to avoid.

Social media:  Getting creative – using ‘in house talent’ to post and keep content fresh.  I like the idea of having someone on the inside provide content for your social media channels.  They have a passion for, and understanding of, what you do, and are already employed.  Making a mess – using the same talent to develop social media strategy. Unless your go-to person is an actual digital strategist, this most likely will end up in disaster. I use the analogy of the car: just because you can drive one doesn’t mean you should be tinkering around under the hood to fix it.  There is no shame in recognizing you lack that specific talent, and bringing in a consultant to handle it.  Social media is a pretty powerful tool, but in amateur hands, you won’t reap the benefits.

Public relations: Getting creative – working with existing relationships and customizing your pitch accordingly. Hopefully you have started to develop relationships with key publications in your industry. Know the types of stories that publication gravitates towards, and think about the pitch and customize it. It not only adds depth to your overall PR coverage, it helps get more stories picked up. Making a mess – sending one story to a bunch of key publications, and hoping for the best. This is what I call the ‘one and done’ strategy, and is checking that to-do off your list.  This fails for two reasons: first, one press release does not make a digital marketing strategy. If it were so easy to publish one article and get a bunch of traction, everyone would do it. Second, if the piece isn’t press worthy, you are not only killing the chance of it getting picked up, you are labeling your future items as ‘not worth opening’. Editors have a ton of work and more story pitches than they can manage. You don’t want your communications put right in the trash bin because they assume your work won’t be up to snuff.

Be strategically creative at your next trade show, and pull out the scissors.  Just don’t run with them.

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