Survey: Are events the marketing goldmine they’re cracked up to be?

Communicators cited high costs, low-value leads, poor speaker spots and subpar media coverage as cons to attending events. Here’s how to avoid them and get your money’s worth.

Attending events can be a great way to stay current with industry trends, increase your knowledge and network.

However, marketers’ tune changes when it comes to the affect on their organizations.

More than half of marketers view conferences and trade shows as a necessary evil, with 64 percent of them saying they’ve been disappointed when attending a major event.

Bospar’s Trade Show Success Survey revealed several reasons for that disappointment:

– Cost of attending too high relative to the ROI (45 percent)

– Not getting the right spot on the conference floor (45 percent)

– Low-value leads (36 percent)

– Poor speaker spots (36 percent)

However, the study points to a lack of media coverage—or getting the wrong type of coverage altogether—as the biggest source of frustration in communicators who attend conferences. Sixty-nine percent of respondents were disappointed by the media coverage their organizations got at a conference.

Reasons for the subpar media relations results vary, according to the study:

  • Company’s news was lost in other trade show news stories (31 percent)
  • Members of the news media did not cover their company at all (31 percent)
  • Media interviews did not result in articles (23 percent)
  • Journalists were difficult to reach or did not show up for scheduled interviews (23 percent)
  • Company news appeared in a roundup of competitors (8 percent)

The study’s results can give marketers and PR pros insight into how to prepare for events.

Going into a conference, it’s crucial to ensure that journalists will be aware of your brand’s presence and have easy (perhaps exclusive) access to your top experts.

Another option is to focus on smaller events. Ninety-two percent of marketers said that smaller trade shows are a “good investment.” Here are a few of the benefits:

  • Connecting to customers (75 percent)
  • Securing leadership speaking roles (67 percent)
  • Hosting receptions or events with less competition (50 percent)

Many communicators also turn to social media to boost their brands and connect to those outside of their organizations at events. Twitter is the favored platform, with 93 percent of marketers calling it the best social platform for conferences.

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Topics: PR

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