The Truth About Event Marketing Education

Posted 17/12/2019
The Truth About Event Marketing Education

Trade show preparation equals success. And training should be an integral part of your preparation.

It equips you with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Build an effective marketing and engagement strategy
  • Hire the best booth staff to help you generate leads
  • Choose the right trade show for your target audience
  • Create measurable goals for success
  • Develop a follow-up strategy for leads

But have you invested in trade show training before? And if not, why? 

We think the answer lies in the lack of event marketing education in the UK. Especially compared to places like America (as we’ve experienced from our travels). 

We’ve surveyed 50 top exhibition professionals to get their view. Here’s what we discovered. 

Who took part?

53 professionals from exhibiting businesses and companies that provide services for trade shows. 

44% of participants were business directors, while 29% were managing directors. Only 6% were exhibition directors, whereas 21% were in a B-level position.

The next question we asked was: what type of specific training for event marketing have you participated in before?

25% have had no event marketing training before 

That’s less than half of the participants. Meanwhile, only 17% have completed an industry association course from institutes such as CIM and CIPD

We also discovered that 29% have learnt about event marketing through university. While 21% have relied on self-guided learning. 

So – despite the fact that 84% of leadership believe in-person events are a critical component of their company’s success (Bizzabo, 2018) – there is a significant number of businesses that don’t invest in event marketing education. But why?

It’s NOT because business leaders don’t want to take part in training, as we discovered through our survey … 

27% are very likely to be able to attend a full-day workshop 

While 33% are somewhat likely to commit to a full day of training. Only 13% are unlikely. 

This tells us that event marketing education is a high priority for board-level professionals.

Arguably then the reason 25% of participants have had no event marketing training before is because there’s a real lack of education available

To back this theory up, we asked our participants: what type of training would they like to see more of? 

Most businesses want training on strategy and communication for exhibitions

Creating a strategy for exhibitions came up as the top type of event marketing training missing in the UK. Our report also highlighted a lack of education in:

  • communication skills
  • lead generation
  • qualifying leads 
  • audience targeting

We’re not surprised that these topics are at the top of the table. For example, it’s extremely difficult to reap a solid ROI without a good marketing strategy. Because you don’t know who you’re targeting, where to exhibit or what metrics to measure for success.

It’s the same story if you don’t have highly-trained booth staff. It impacts your ability to attract and qualify attendees, secure their interest and successfully follow them up after the show.

An emphasis on quality education 

Business leaders don’t just want any old event marketing training. In our survey, 58% of participants said the relevance of topics is critical in determining whether a course is worth attending. 

It’s a similar verdict for the quality of speakers. 58% agreed that an event marketing course required credible speakers to be a worthwhile investment. The reputation of the education provider is also ‘very important’, according to 35% of our respondents. 

We also asked the question: how important is it to you that this type of education is UK or EU specific, as opposed to globally relevant? The verdict was split. 20% believe is ‘isn’t important’, while 19% believe it is ‘very important’. 

What have we learnt?

Business leaders see the value in event marketing education and are willing to commit themselves to improving their trade show performance.

But there appears to be a real lack of relevant training options available in the UK. Despite this, companies aren’t deterred from leveraging the opportunities live events present. We think this is inspiring, and we want to help.

This is why we’ve created practical face-to-face engagement tools you can access for free. Face-to-face marketing is essential for trade show success. It helps you connect with attendees on an emotional level, priming them for conversion.

Here’s how our engagement tools work: 

The Exhibition Engagement Calculator

Using this tool, you get a personalised exhibition KPI forecast at the click of a button. 

The calculator asks for your business’ operational costs, sales objectives and typical marketing performance to calculate how many leads you need to make a profit. 

Then it helps you define realistic goals and shows you how to build a strategy to meet them. 

The Exhibition Scorecard 

The scorecard benchmarks your current exhibition performance against our proven blueprint for exhibiting success. All you need to do is answer a set of questions pertinent to your trade show activity. 

The tool scores each answer and then analyses the results. You gain recommendations on how to improve each area of exhibiting, from lead-generation to choosing which trade shows to attend. You’ll also receive a free eBook on how to improve your trade show performance. 

Have your say 

Do you think there’s a lack of event marketing education in the UK? Then we’d love to hear from you. Let’s continue this discussion on Twitter

Posted 17/12/2019