Why an After-Show Party Might Be Your Best Marketing Tool

May 31, 2017 Phil Rouin

Industry trade shows like EBACE are a huge draw and bring thousands of prospects in for multiple days of meetings and press conferences. If your budget allows, hosting prospective and current clients with an off-site event during the show can be a great marketing tool to make use of this captive audience. Here’s why and how: 

 

1. Go Beyond the Booth

An off-site event can help you deliver a perfectly crafted experience and message to your clients. Unlike the overwhelming, over-stimulating show floor that can be full of sameness, off-site events can be classy, quiet, funny, memorable and entertaining. It’s much easier to stand out when you carefully curate the vibe that best suits your brand and caters to your handpicked guest list. Use this opportunity to deliver exactly the message you want, undiluted and unique, or reinforce branding consistent with your show display's theme. And since in-show services are so expensive, you’ll get a lot more value for money outside the official venues. 

The Ultimate Jet Polo Event in 2014

Nothing says class like a polo match, this event was distinctive, on-brand and totally luxurious.

 

2. Strength in Numbers

Hosting an event is a way to leverage your media planning and courting a co-sponsors is a great way to share expenses and attention. Choose complementary partners with strong media relationships and you can attract great editorial coverage and build reach. Choose one with deep pockets and you can get advertising, signage and high-end food and beverages. Bigger companies can benefit from including smaller partners with reputations for innovation and credibility. The more complimentary the services and unusual the combination can make for the best cross-pollination. Reach out and let the rising tide lift all boats (well, aircraft).

The Altitudes Magazine Party at MEBAA 2016 in Dubai,

presented by Bombardier and al.

Note the effective use of the red carpet-style backdrop and themed monument signage

 

3. Outside the Box, Inside the Walls 

Hosting an off-site party in an unusual or fun location can help clients see you in a new light and when they are relaxed and having fun, defenses drop and they may be more receptive to your message. Consider a creative or informal venue that encourages co-mingling or game play and relationship building. Showing off your true personality and company culture can really help you stand out among the bizav stuffed suits and build loyalty and trust.

The 2013 Rooftop Party hosted by Capital Jets was an All-Out Party

With costumed air hostesses, live music and and even cage dancers, this party was truly over the top. But attendees remember it to this day and doubtless deals were discussed among the dancing.

 

4. Group Sesh

Some companies use big shows as a company outing and are looking for evening activities that everyone can attend. Nothing makes a lasting impression like a shared experience, especially when it’s an unforgettable party. Extending your invitation to the entire group can solidify your companies’ relationship and provide water cooler conversation for months afterward. Unlike the show floor, you can invite anyone you like to an off-site so you can be more liberal with your guest list and include other current clients and support staff that might not be attending the show. Regardless of the size of the crowd, don’t forget the souvenirs, forgo the boring tote bags and give them a gift that they’ll take back to their office or home and really use.

The EVA Intl 2016 After Party

Sunglasses were given out at the EVA Intl party in 2016, a practical gift and fun reminder of the night.

 

5. Tête-à-Tête Time

Your chances of getting the undivided attention of your guests are greatly increased when you control the setting. Taking the dialogue beyond the booth can cement relationships and set you up for a substantive discussion. Hosting a large party? Create separate VIP booths for individual clients that you can stop by and have that heart-to-heart. They’ll love you for it.

The Jet Family Party at Jet Expo 2012

The exclusive lounge-like setting was perfect for one-on-ones and small group meetings by day and converted to a high-end nightclub by night

 

7. Boost Your Social Media Cred

Trade show lighting generally doesn't make for flattering photography and it's hard to get a great shot in a crowded hall. Use your off-site event to create a dramatic and interesting background for social media posts and invite the most influential industry bloggers and press to attend and share your message.  Don’t forget to create a compelling #hashtag and use it even before the event to create interest.

With an off-site event you can expand your reach and play host to hundreds of your best clients and prospects, showcasing your unique products and services in a thoughtful way. Take your marketing beyond the booth and make the most of the next big show.

Let Branding pass assist you with your next marketing event.

What are your thoughts? We invite you to share your opinion so please leave a comment or contact us directly. As always, feel free to share this post with your friends and colleagues!

The opinions and analyses expressed on this blog/website are based on our research and are for the sole purpose of providing general information about our agency and our practices. See more at brandingpass.net.

Special thanks to APZ / (c) Marcel Dubiel

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