The power of in-person marketing: How to create deeper connections through conferences and industry events

The last decade has seen a significant shift in how we communicate and meet with peers, clients and customers.

The pandemic and the move to greater home working saw a surge in webinars, video calls and online events – but are things shifting again?

While all these methods of interacting are now commonplace, the unique value of in-person events has not diminished.

Attending conferences and significant industry gatherings remains a potent marketing strategy, as does hosting your own in-person events.

Building personal connections

It’s hard to deny, there’s a tangible difference in the quality of connections made in person. At a conference, the handshake, eye contact, and immediate feedback create a memorable interaction that can solidify relationships early on.

These events offer a unique opportunity to engage directly with peers, existing clients and potential customers so that you can understand their needs, and tailor your services or product in real-time.

For many businesses, this direct engagement is crucial in building trust and fostering long-term relationships.

Turn heads with your stand design

The design of your exhibition stand is your first chance to communicate your brand’s identity and values amongst a sea of similarly attention-grabbing vendors.

An eye-catching stand design can draw delegates’ interest within the competitive space of a big event.

Your stand is not just about size (although bigger can be better) but about embodying your brand’s ethos and messaging in every aspect of the design.

Creative, bold, and thematic stands often create a buzz, drawing more foot traffic and acting as a conversation starter.

Interactive displays, games or immersive experiences can all enhance engagement and ensure you get the top slot on social media posts during the event.

Effective handouts and giveaways

While digital brochures are environmentally friendly and easy to distribute, physical handouts still hold significant value at in-person events.

They serve as a tangible reminder of your brand, providing critical information that attendees can revisit after the event and share with others.

The key to effective handouts is to ensure they are striking, informative and compelling.

Easy to read and full of useful information – including testimonials and case studies – a well-put-together and visually appealing flyer, guide or brochure can help you stand out.

Remember though, quality trumps quantity. Well-designed, short and insightful handouts are likely to be saved and referred to, rather than discarded.

Giveaways or freebies can also play a pivotal role in making your stand memorable. The best giveaways are those that are not only branded but also useful.

Items like tech gadgets, eco-friendly products, or even high-quality notebooks can keep your brand in the user’s mind well beyond the event.

Go big and create something that stands out to others throughout the show, or pick something handy that someone is likely to use or see every day.

Unique or creative giveaways can spark conversations and serve as icebreakers, providing an easy path to engage in deeper discussions.

Alternative strategies to stand out

If a fantastic stand, cool SWAG and impactful handouts weren’t enough, you could also consider:

  • Competitions
  • Live demonstrations
  • Talks and speaking slots
  • Side events, such as workshops, networking sessions or even a breakfast or drinks outside the venue.

Whether you are an events veteran or just starting out and want some help researching and preparing for an event, we can help.

We have years of experience helping a wide variety of businesses to manage, promote and maximise their attendance at some of the UK’s biggest shows and conferences, so speak to us today.

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