Before we get to that checklist, please consider some well-known event marketing truths. First, trade shows and live events are still very important in many industries including technology, healthcare, construction, and markets that require continuing education. Second, trade shows and live events are typically expensive to participate in, and difficult to measure marketing return on investment (MROI). Finally, trade shows and live events are often ineffective due to lack of promotion, and many other reasons.

The event marketing experts at Modern Marketing Partners address these truths regarding trade shows and live events with a 88-Point Trade Show and Live Event Marketing Checklist, along with some additional, relevant resources. Check back here for  a Webcast and Virtual Event Marketing Checklist.

Event Marketing Checklist – Trade Shows and Live Events

Event Branding

  • Title (if live event, not trade show; consider themes)
  • Graphics (exhibit, signage, etc.)
  • Website: banner, landing page, calendar listing, registration link, blog, etc.
  • Social Media: social posts; optional event #Hashtag
  • Optional Cause identification/recruitment

Event Management

  • Live Event:
    • Date(s)
    • Agenda/Topics/Speakers/Celebrities/Dignitaries (Mayor’s Office, chambers, local politicians)
    • Speaker recruitment (if applicable)
    • Venue/Food&Beverage/Audio-Visual/Program
    • Set-up registration (EventBrite, etc.)
  • Trade Show:
    • Registration with event including listings
    • Exhibit design/production/shipping
    • Travel coordination
    • Coordinate customer and press meetings

Event Promotion

  • Banner, landing page, calendar listing, registration link, blog, etc.
  • Social Media postings including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, etc.
  • Event Directory submission including EventBrite (live event, not trade show)
  • Event calendar submission to local/regional newsprint, media outlets, city news outlets (if applicable)
  • Contact relevant Meetup groups (live event, if applicable)
  • Email
    • Existing list identification (applications, verticals, roles, geos)
    • New email lists (develop, procure incl. exhibitors, attendees, sponsors, prospects, etc.)
    • Email campaigns:  write/design/distribute; pre-show; customers, prospects, employees, etc.; post-show)
  • Premiums/giveaways
  • Optional Advertising
    • Print ads (live event, not tradeshows)
    • Radio/TV (live event, not tradeshows)
    • Paid Search: Pay-Per-Click (PPC), Remarketing, Display
    • Social Media advertising (Facebook, LinkedIn)
  • Optional promotion/raffle/contest, etc.
  • Public Service Announcements (PSAs) with “Cause tie-in”

Publicity

  • Update editor/media list (purchase if needed) to include additional outlets and multiple contacts
  • Press release write; email to editors/media list, newswire distribute
  • Add PR to website news page/news archive
  • Media Alert and/or Media Invite for VIP breakfast or similar; email to editors/media including follow up and add to website
  • Press event tie-in with event including presentation
  • Press file or kit (to hand-out to press event attendees)

Post-Event

  • Thank you emails
  • Feedback survey
  • Sales calls to marketing qualified leads (MQLs), and Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs)
  • Event Reporting including highlights, lead generation, sales conversions, email metrics, pictures/videos, etc.

Other Event Marketing Considerations

Trade shows and live events can be an extremely important part of  your marketing mix. To be successful, much planning and timely execution are required. Depending on the scale of the event, planning and execution might be required 12-18 months before the event. That said, careful project management will be needed before, during and after the event. Branding and promotion will be required to achieve measurable results. And results should be measured in every way possible. Ideally sales conversions are quantified to be able to identify marketing return on investment (MROI).

Relevant Event Marketing Resources:

Trade Show Marketing Planning (MMP)

Trade Show Marketing – At Show (MMP)

Trade Show Marketing – Results Measurement (MMP)

Event Marketing Pre-Show Tips (MMP)