Planning for AMRAE is now fully underway, helping clients prepare for a great event and a great start to the year. Designers are hard at work, project managers are busy organising transport and accommodation and teams of contractors are drawing together plans to build and install a range of exhibition booths for clients. We are really excited by the designs that we are pulling together this year – and for those that are attending, we hope that you like them too!
But this year there is something else… something different, and I don’t mean yet more conversations about Brexit! Building upon the trends from events such as FERMA, we are clearly seeing an increasing demand from clients to think beyond the simple confines of the exhibition hall and the conference and to engage with all of their audience. After all, if something is worth saying at AMRAE, then surely it is important to those that don’t make the trip?
This thinking is something that we have focused upon for over 5 years, helping clients create and engage their thinking to as wide an audience as possible, not just restricting things to those that attend. FERMA was a great example of how this thinking is really gaining traction and the results that it can deliver for those that embrace the ideas, and how those who haven’t yet made a decision to explore the channels can sometimes feel they are coming up ‘short’.
So, if you are thinking about expanding the conversation and engagement that you have around events, here are a few tips for where to start…
1. Try to focus your attendance – avoid the long list of things/products or services. What do you really want to say to the audience? What is top of their agenda? Where are you different from the competition? Don’t think that it needs to be just a single item, but don’t go mad with more than 3.
2. Work on content that will be of interest and value to the audience – yes, you can focus on your own messaging, but don’t just do that or people will switch off. Get the people in the business to talk about their views. What about the views of other experts in the market? Share something new, something of value.
3. Schedule how and when you will share the content – reach out to everyone that might gain value from your thoughts. Consider a variety of ways to share your content, making sure that you keep it fresh. Respond to the way in which people engage with the content – deploy content that they are interested in and don’t just keep saying the same things… in the same order.
4. Make sure that you measure and evaluate the responses. Learn and respond to this, focus the content to people that are interested in it. Create a dialogue with the audience, it creates great insight as to the thoughts of your customers and prospects.
5. Balance your efforts to engagement before, during, and post the event – don’t stop when the event finishes!
There isn’t a ‘magic bullet’ to getting this correct. Have a look at the ideas that those attending FERMA in October delivered as inspiration. See if they followed the basic principles: focus, content of interest, schedule effectively, measure and evaluate, and don’t stop!
Those that embraced the concept seemed to have more risk managers in dialogue with them than those that didn’t: see how AIG, Aon, and Marsh went about things. As more people are involved in decision making, we need to share our knowledge and competitive advantages more widely.
I’m really looking forward to AMRAE to see how exhibitors will use content marketing and social media to engage – not long to go now!