At Hargrove, we understand you’re handling more with less and under pressure to produce results from your exhibit program. So, whether you’re planning your 1st trade show or 100th, our team is ready to help. Get started today on planning a successful show!
Order furniture, carpet and labor using our Online Exhibitor Ordering System. It’s easy-to-use and provides you instant access to your orders from anywhere.
Everything you need to know in one place—the Exhibitor Service Kit. It includes key show information, order forms, instructions and key dates.
Want to Bring the “Wow” to Your Next Booth? We have exhibit solutions for any budget, with a service team committed to your success.
Ready for a Smart Shipping Solution? Dependable shipping services save budget dollars and streamline your workload.
We’ve compiled our teams’ thoughts and ideas to help you plan your next trade show, event, or exhibit. So, whether you need advice on developing your next RFP, ensuring you do all you can to maximize your budget or can’t remember the meaning of an industry term, we hope you find our set of how-tos helpful.
By Christine Kiesling, VP Customer Experience –
As we have all experienced in the last six months, our world has drastically changed, with very few industries impacted as greatly as live events industry.
In order to adapt to this “new normal” we are living in, meetings, events, exhibitions, and conferences have moved to an entirely virtual or hybrid format. We all experienced that reactive measure to pivot from a physical event, and now we see more thoughtful strategies and planning for effectively using hybrid experiences as part of an integrated portfolio into the future.
We, as marketers and events professionals, need to find a new way to measure the successfulness of our events. As such, it’s time to define the ‘Future Normal,’ as we have named it at Hargrove, and set our objectives against a new, more powerful value index, as one thing is for sure: things will never go back to exactly how they were.
Hargrove strategically supports our clients to set KPIs and measure their live events. And, faced with the same challenges as our clients, we recently wanted to test our some of our theories and the opportunities we see ahead for brands. We decided to “walk the walk” with our own brand opportunity: a virtual booth in the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Virtual Annual Meeting & Exposition.
Trade shows have typically had some standardized metrics; a measure of success might be the number of people who drop by our booth and get scanned or join a speaking opportunity, or it could be how many conversations we had or how many business cards we collected are in the proverbial fishbowl. With our world being virtual, we looked at our KPIs with fresh eyes.
Approximately five thousand people typically attend the ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition. An unexpected benefit to the event being moved online is this year: over fourteen thousand people attended virtually! An amazing success story in its own right.
For the Hargrove virtual booth, we looked at how to measure success in this new format. Our content within the booth experience featured a rich set of clickable content, from MeetSAFE™ videos to our full-service capabilities deck and a video welcome message from our President, Tara Higgins.
We planned to track the following metrics:
These metrics are ones that you can’t track—at least not easily or as accurately—in the live environment. The analytics available in the digital world allow for data we could never have in such detail.
We had over one thousand qualified leads come from our participation, that required four levels of follow-up action to support their various needs. We generated over 30 highly qualified leads, where conversations for future partnerships already have begun.
Many participants spent well over 15 minutes in our booth, allowing us to track what they did and what content they downloaded. This compares to an industry average of seven minutes spent within a live tradeshow booth.
To learn more about this “new value index” and how it can be applied to manage your events, contact us HERE.
Remember the Seinfeld episode with the “close talker”? Elaine’s new boyfriend, Aaron, got physically close when he talked. He got so close to Kramer that Kramer backed up until he fell in Jerry’s kitchen.
I bet when you saw that episode you felt some level of discomfort imagining Aaron coming that close. Consider that happening today, as we continue to make our way through the pandemic.
The contract for adhering to pre–COVID-19 social rules was understood; the rules have drastically changed. As humans, and communities, especially in experience marketing, our social contract permitted us to shake hands, hug when we met or departed, or high five as we celebrated a win. In many instances, sharing a meal together was woven into the very fabric of our culture.
According to Kantar’s 2020 U.S. MONITOR COVID Wave II poll, 65% of Americans think face masks will be a normal part of life five years from now; 73% believe it very/somewhat likely that the handshake is dead. What COVID-19 has done to our social comfort level is not temporary.
We are now left wondering about the new social rituals and how to enforce them. Not only can brands guide the way, there is a desire for them to lead by example and demonstrate they can realistically help reduce risk and anxiety, and drive change. This sentiment is strong with younger Americans who expect brands to play a role in solving social issues.
Event marketers have an opportunity to create experiences that offer both time and space separation. Spreading out the components of events, creating deeper engagement over longer periods of time, will create long-lasting value exchange.
Some are talking about the ‘new normal;’ Hargrove is defining the ‘future normal.’ The approach to event marketing from a month ago has already outlived its relevancy. We are turning to the future normal, planning for continued shifts and rapid adoption of how we engage audiences. This pandemic has created cravings for connection; it will be critical that we provide intimate moments that scale and evoke curiosity in a way that’s authentic, while remaining fluid in the reality of these new social rituals.
We now have a tremendous opportunity to break through the physical limitations of an event and leverage it as one point of the engagement spectrum. It’s time to truly embrace the power of hybrid experiences and the technologies that allow us to engage audiences as never before.
Our focus on customer experience is front and center. The tools and the technologies available to us in events are not new; the rapid adoption of them, however, will be new for many. Understanding audience segmentation profiles and considering generational shifts taking place is ever more critical.
As you look to the future normal, embrace this moment, reinvent your experiences and dig deep. We will continue to disrupt the status quo because we have to; it’s time to rethink experience marketing and explore opportunities for deeper engagement.
Ben Erwin, President and CEO of our parent company PSAV/Encore, provides his perspective on the current state of the events industry due to COVID-19, the impact to the business, the strategic adjustments we have taken, and his vision for the future as our new CEO.
In the past six months, our world has been flipped upside down. Almost every industry in the world has been affected by the global pandemic, with very few impacted more than the live events industry. While we all know what goes on behind the scenes to bring conferences, meetings, brand activations, and all other special events to life, sometimes it can feel like ours has been the forgotten industry.