The trade show industry has fully emerged from the challenges of 2020 and 2021. With live events back in full swing in 2022, we witnessed several companies deploy their tried-and-true strategies, executed by their previous supplier and partner network. This was likely to ensure stability and limit the ‘unknowns’ associated with switching up their strategies and providers.
However, times are changing. Human behavior, engagement, and technology have evolved. We challenge event planners to get very specific and intentional with their game plan and in doing so, evaluate their trade show partner network to make certain they are employing the most progressive strategy available.
As we inch closer to 2023, Steelhead is excited to share resources to help event planners through the evaluation process, beginning with the key indicators below.
Inflation and labor shortages have impacted many industries, including the trade show and event industry. Supplier selection is a huge opportunity to extend the capabilities of your internal event marketing team. It is safe to assume that your supplier network and their capabilities to support you and your program have changed. Now is a great time to check the status and stability of your exhibit partner. Don’t forget the success of any event is only as good as the team of suppliers you've assembled!
Trade shows and events in 2022 saw a huge shift in intentionality in exhibiting and attending live events. Companies are doing business in a way they were not previously accustomed to. The modern buyer prefers a guided, yet solo journey down the sales funnel. Your events need to support this.
It’s highly unlikely that your marketing budget will remain the same from one year to the next. Add in inflation, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages, event marketing planners are expected to do more with much, much less.
Timely communication with your trade show providers and adherence to production schedules has never been more important for the bottom line.
*Expert Tip* Work with partners that offer price guarantees so there are no ugly surprises after your event concludes.
Marketing trends are ever-evolving! What was trending 6 months ago, might not cut it anymore. If you don’t evolve your marketing strategy to consider or incorporate what’s new and effective now, you’ll likely miss the mark with your audience.
The first sign that it’s time to update your strategy is if you created it over 2 years ago. My personal opinion is that 2 years is 1 year too long. Technology rapidly changes human behavior, and for a marketing strategy to work well, you have to understand how humans behave.
If you’re not using the latest marketing techniques or most progressive event partnerships, your marketing result will surely suffer. Outside of providing the above recommendations, we’ve created an assessment tool to help you evaluate the team of suppliers you lean on to ensure your success.
Supplier Assessment - Take this simple, 6-question assessment to help you evaluate your current supplier partnerships and their contributions to your overall event program.
Critical Event Program Assessment for 2023 - This assessment will help identify the key areas in your event program that could use more energy or support from your team.
As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.
-Rhiannon Andersen, CMO