Introduction

having a sponsored presence at in-person conferences are an excellent way to get quality face-to-face time with your target markets, as well as expand on your overall brand awareness. The only problem is, you aren’t the only game in town. Sponsoring these events can be quite expensive, and you want to make sure you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck. But how can you assure that you will stand out in a sea of competitors?

Thankfully, there are several paths that you can take in order create a highly memorable conference presence, and we are here to walk you through some of the best ones.

1: Go Off-Site

It may seem counter-intuitive to stray away from the conference hub, but hosting off-site events can be one of the most powerful strategy to distinguish your brand bar-non. These events, such as happy hours, product launches, or exclusive receptions, provide a unique environment away from the hustle and bustle of the main conference floor, allowing for more intimate and impactful interactions with much more captive audience. They are also often seen as a highlight for attendees, and tend to leave a very lasting impression.

Importance of Choosing a Unique and Memorable Venue

Anyone can throw a happy hour at the local watering hole. But selecting a unique venue better ensures that your event stands out in the minds of attendees. A memorable venue creates an atmosphere that fosters engagement and leaves a lasting impression. It can transform a standard networking event into an unforgettable experience. For instance, hosting an event at one of the unique venues managed by Non Plus Ultra, like the iconic San Francisco Mint, adds a layer of prestige and exclusivity that attendees won’t soon forget.

Practical Tips for Planning Successful Off-Site Events

To execute a successful off-site event:

  • Leverage Themes: Implementing creative themes can make your event stand out. Whether it’s a retro gaming night or a masquerade ball, themed events are more likely to be remembered.
  • Interactive Elements: Incorporate interactive activities such as live demos, VR experiences, or interactive art installations to engage attendees in meaningful ways.
  • Personal Touches: Small details like personalized name tags or customized giveaways can make attendees feel special and appreciated.

By focusing on these elements, exhibitors can create memorable experiences that not only attract but also deeply connect with their target audience.

2: That Booth Though…

A well-designed conference booth is absolutely paramount for connecting with attendees and showcasing your brand’s unique offerings. It serves as the first interaction point between your company and potential clients, making it crucial to create a space that grabs attention and leaves a lasting impression.

Tips for Creating Visually Appealing Displays

  • Bold Signage: Use large, clear signs that prominently display your brand name, logo, and key messages. This helps in quickly communicating who you are and what you offer.
  • Eye-Catching Graphics: Incorporate high-quality visuals, including banners, posters, and digital screens, to attract passersby. Graphics should be consistent with your brand identity, but creative enough to make any passer-bys give it a second (and third) glance.
  • Lighting: Effective lighting can significantly enhance the visual appeal of your booth. Use spotlights to highlight key areas or products.

Interactive Experiences

Engagement is key at conferences. Transforming your booth from a static display into an interactive experience can set you apart:

  • Product Demos: Offer live demonstrations of your products or services. This allows attendees to see them in action and ask questions in real-time.
  • Virtual Reality (VR): Utilize VR to provide immersive experiences that transport attendees into different scenarios where they can interact with your offerings.
  • Touchscreens: Integrate touchscreens for interactive presentations or games, providing a hands-on way for visitors to learn about your brand.

Crafting Compelling Messaging

It almost goes without saying, but effective visual communication is essential in conveying your value proposition:

  • Clear Headlines: Use concise and compelling headlines that quickly convey the benefits of your products or services.
  • Bullet Points: Highlight key features and benefits using bullet points for easy readability.
  • Customer Testimonials: Display testimonials or case studies to build credibility and trust.

By focusing on these elements, your conference booth will not only attract more visitors but also provide an engaging platform to communicate your brand’s story effectively.

3: Bring On the Tech

Incorporating the latest technology at your conference booth is almost guranteed to set you apart from other exhibitors. Innovations like virtual reality (VR) and interactive touchscreens are not only eye-catching but also help to engage attendees on a deeper level.

The Benefits of Virtual Reality

Utilizing virtual reality experiences can create immersive environments that grab attendees’ attention, giving them a firsthand experience of how your products or services work. This is particularly advantageous for showcasing complex solutions in a more understandable and memorable way.

For instance, a software company could use VR to demonstrate how their platform optimizes supply chain operations, allowing attendees to navigate through a virtual warehouse. Or for interior designers to take people on real-time tours of some of their past works.

Interactive Touchscreens

If VR isn’t quite your speed, interactive touchscreens offer a dynamic way for attendees to explore content at their own pace. You can use these screens to showcase product demos, share customer testimonials, or provide detailed information about your offerings. One of the greatest benefits of touchscreens is that they enable self-guided learning, which can lead to more meaningful interactions between your team and potential clients.

Gamification Elements

Adding gamification elements to your booth can help attract more people and increase engagement. By incorporating technology-driven games or challenges related to your business, you create a fun and competitive atmosphere that easily draws attendees in.

Examples include:

  • Leaderboards: Display real-time scores on a touchscreen to encourage participation.
  • Prize Draws: Use digital entry forms for giveaways, ensuring you capture leads efficiently.
  • Quizzes: Interactive quizzes related to your industry can educate while entertaining attendees.

You can find additional gamifcation inspiration HERE.

4: Getting Social

Strategic social media is essential for expanding your conference reach and generating excitement before the event. Platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook can help you create buzz and connect with potential attendees.

Strategies for Social Media Engagement

Create Pre-Conference Hype: Use social media channels to tease your conference participation well in advance. Share sneak peeks of what attendees can expect, such as exclusive product launches or special guest appearances.
Example Posts:

  • “Excited to unveil something big at #TechConf2023! Join us for an exclusive first look. #Innovation”
  • “Counting down the days to #MedCon2023! Visit our booth for interactive demos and more. #HealthcareTech”

Leverage Multiple Platforms: Different social media platforms serve unique functions and audiences.

  • LinkedIn: Ideal for professional networking and detailed insights about your company’s offerings.
  • Twitter: Great for real-time updates and engaging with industry conversations using event-specific hashtags.
  • Instagram: Perfect for visually appealing content that highlights your brand’s personality and behind-the-scenes looks.
  • Facebook: Useful for creating event pages, live streaming sessions, and longer posts detailing what attendees can anticipate.

Interactive Campaigns: Encourage attendee interaction through polls, Q&A sessions, and contests related to your conference presence.
For instance:

  • Run a poll on Twitter asking followers which new feature they’re most excited about.
  • Host an Instagram contest where participants share a photo from your booth for a chance to win a prize.

Comprehensive Social Media Strategy: Develop a well-rounded social media strategy that encompasses all aspects of your conference presence, from pre-conference hype to post-event follow-ups. This includes leveraging different platforms, interactive campaigns, and targeted digital advertising.

Targeted Digital Advertising

Using targeted digital advertising helps you reach a wider audience beyond your existing followers. Platforms like Facebook Ads or LinkedIn Sponsored Content allow you to:

  • Identify Specific Audiences: Tailor ads based on demographics, job titles, industries, and interests relevant to the conference.
  • Retarget Interested Prospects: Engage users who have previously interacted with your website or social media posts.

Example Integration

Imagine hosting an off-site event at a unique venue like El Jebel  during the conference. Promote this exclusive event through targeted ads emphasizing its unique location and exclusive access.

By combining strategic use of social media with robust digital marketing efforts, you ensure that not only is your presence felt during the conference but also well before it begins, setting the stage for a memorable experience.​

5: Don’t Forget to Follow Up

It’s important to keep the momentum going with leads and contacts after a conference. Following up in a timely and personalized manner can turn brief encounters into long-term professional relationships.

Key Strategies for Effective Post-Conference Follow-Up

Craft Personalized Emails

  • Use information from your conversations to write personalized emails that resonate with each contact.
  • Mention specific topics discussed during the conference to show genuine interest.
  • Include a clear call-to-action, such as scheduling a follow-up meeting or accessing a relevant resource.

Segment Your Contacts

  • Group your leads based on their level of interest and potential value.
  • Customize your messages based on these groups for more focused communication.

Provide Valuable Content

  • Send articles, case studies, or whitepapers that are relevant to your prospects’ interests and needs.

Analyze Feedback

  • Gather feedback from attendees about their experience at your booth or off-site events to improve future strategies.

Integrating these practices into your post-conference routine ensures that you maintain the connections you’ve made and keep building on them for long-term growth and engagement.

Conclusion

To summarize, make your conference a success, keep these five exhibiting tips in mind:

1. Host Unforgettable Off-Site Events at Unique Venues

  • Stand out by choosing memorable venues and incorporating interactive elements. Explore some of the unique venue options available to make your event truly remarkable.

2. Design an Engaging and Impactful Conference Booth

  • Attract attendees with eye-catching displays and compelling messages that showcase your brand’s value.

3. Leverage Technology to Enhance Attendee Experiences

  • Use innovative technology like virtual reality or gamification to create memorable interactions.

4. Amplify Your Presence Through Strategic Social Media

  • Extend your reach beyond the conference floor by using social media platforms and targeted digital advertising.

5. Follow-Up Effectively to Nurture Connections After the Conference

  • Keep the conversation going with personalized follow-ups, using data to tailor future strategies.

By implementing these strategies, exhibitors can make a lasting impression at their next conference or event sponsorship opportunity.

Ready to take your conference strategy to the next level? Book your unique off-site venue today!