A LOT MORE THAN “PUMPING IRON.” TEAMWORK EVENT SPECIALISTS HANDLES GENERAL CONTRACTING FOR THE 2017 “JOE WEIDER’S FITNESS & PERFORMANCE WEEKEND”; We Take a Look at the History of the Event, and at the Business and Culture of Muscle Building and Fitness

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Teamwork Event Specialists is a national leader in special event general contracting and production.

We are based in the Boston area with offices in major cities throughout the U.S.

Teamwork Event Specialist clients include among the world’s largest and best known companies, as well as small and recent startups, and businesses of every size and profile in between.  Every client receives the same uncompromising Teamwork dedication to quality.

One of our newest clients, one which holds a name of high renown in the fitness and sports performance category, is Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend – the world’s premier bodybuilding and fitness event, held annually in September in Las Vegas.

This year’s Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend started two days ago and runs through tomorrow.

Teamwork is the official general contractor for the 2017 event, which includes the main events: the Mr. Olympia, and the fitness, physique, and bikini competitions held at the The Orleans Hotel & Casino – and the exposition which is held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The exposition will include a tradeshow and several demonstrations and competitions.  Among the tradeshow exhibitors will be sports nutrition, sports equipment, sportswear, and gym franchise companies.  On the demonstration and competition front there will be martial arts, a male fitness model search, CrossFit, powerlifting, Zumba, a Strongman challenge, LexTwerkout (LTO), and a Ninja Warrior gauntlet.

Across both venues, Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend will occupy more than 500,000 square feet.   More than 200 exhibitors will participate in the tradeshow portion of the exposition.

“The Mr. Olympia competition is iconic, and the most powerful brand name in bodybuilding and fitness,” said Curt DaRosa, General Manager of Teamwork Event Specialists-. “And Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend is the signature, the number one, event in all of bodybuilding and fitness.  It is an honor for Teamwork to serve as the official general contractor.”

A Culture and Sport is Born

From whence originated Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend?

This is a story is, as it would have to be, of bodybuilding – and of fitness.

Some might say that serious bodybuilding … and fitness … in America traces to the Physical Culture movement, which started in the mid 1800s in the U.S., Germany, and England.  Physical culture stressed calisthenics, gymnastics, and combat sports such as boxing, fencing, and wrestling. The movement also featured the use of exercise equipment.

Then there was Jack LaLanne, who in 1936 opened the first fitness club in the U.S.  Weightlifting (aka resistance training) was one component of LaLanne’s prescription for healthy living, along with a strict diet of natural foods.  Through his TV exercise show, and books, and other media, he and his teachings achieved pop icon and powerhouse brand status.

Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend, though, is more directly rooted to the establishment – in 1946 – of the first true international bodybuilding organization: the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB).

Founding the IFBB were two brothers from Montreal, Ben and Joe Weider.  The IFBB founding countries were Canada and the United States.  Right out of the blocks the IFBB ran various bodybuilding contests and events.

Until the mid-1960s, bodybuilding held only a small niche in U.S. culture.  Even as it was a serious hobby to many, it was not widely popular.  It was not considered anything close to mainstream.  Not many thought of it as a sport.

That began to change when early in the spring of 1965, the Weider brothers – with Joe Weider taking the lead – decided and took upon themselves to found a signature bodybuilding championship event, one that would give the biggest name bodybuilder of the day, Larry Scott, a chance to win a title of higher profile than those of Mr. America, Mr. World, and Mr. Universe, all of which he already had claimed.

It would be a title that also conferred a cash award – albeit modest.

What the Weiders launched was Mr. Olympia, the supreme bodybuilding event and title.

The inaugural Mr. Olympia was held on September 18, 1965 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.  Predictably, becoming the first Mr. Olympia and winning $1000, was Larry Scott.

Larry Scott repeated as champion in 1966 and won another $1000.

Bodybuilding and its culture were about to explode.

Aiding that explosion was a new type of bodybuilder: one more massive and defined, and displaying a form of proportion and sweep and symmetry not yet seen.  Two of those men – the primary and best known exemplars of the new type – were Sergio Oliva, from Cuba, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, from Austria.

Sergio Oliva won the 1967, 1968, and 1969 Mr. Olympias.  Runner-up in the 1969 contest was Arnold Schwarzenegger.  Schwarzenegger won the five Mr. Olympias held from 1970 through 1975.

By 1970, the IFBB had officials in 50 countries – with those countries spanning across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America

Also helping considerably the profile of bodybuilding was the release of the 1977 docudrama “Pumping Iron,” which dramatized and told the story of bodybuilders preparing for and competing in the 1975 IFBB Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia competitions.

Here is an excerpt from the Wikipedia entry on “Pumping Iron”:

“ …. Directed by George Butler and Robert Fiore, it is inspired by a book of the same name by Butler and Charles Gaines, and nominally centers on the competition between Arnold Schwarzenegger and one of his primary competitors for the title of Mr. Olympia, Lou Ferrigno. The film also features segments on bodybuilders Franco Columbu and Mike Katz, in addition to appearances by Ken WallerEd CorneySerge Nubret, and other famous bodybuilders of the era.

“Shot during the 100 days leading up to the Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia competitions and during the competitions themselves, the filmmakers ran out of funds to finish production and it stalled for two years. Ultimately, Schwarzenegger and other bodybuilders featured in the film helped to raise funds to complete production, and it was released in 1977. The film became a box office success, making Schwarzenegger a household name. The film also served to popularize the culture of bodybuilding, which was somewhat niche at the time, and helped to inspire the fitness craze of the 1980s; following the film’s release, there was a marked increase in the number of commercial gyms in the U.S.”

Rededication, on Oct. 6, 2014, of Arnold Schwarzenegger statue in downtown Columbus, OH. Originally statue was located in front of Franklin County Veterans Memorial convention center in the city, but was moved to downtown Columbus ahead of the demolition of the convention center. Statue is a tribute to Schwarzenegger and his friendship with Columbus. The Arnold Sports Festival is held annually in Columbus. On stage, from left to right, Schwarzenegger, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (image credit: 10TV News)

“Pumping Iron,” and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the competition, surely helped to inspire the “fitness craze of the 1980s”.  It was germination for the florescence of the modern health club in America during that decade.

This is true even if an argument can be made that the first modern health club was launched when Joe Gold, himself a fitness and bodybuilding pioneer, opened his first Gold’s Gym, in 1965 in Venice, CA.

(The “modern” health club was differentiated from Jack LaLanne’s fitness clubs in that it was larger and had for more types of exercise equipment.)

What also early on powered the American fitness craze was the performance that birthed and gave rise to the 1970s running boom in America:  the U.S.’s Frank Shorter winning the gold medal in the marathon in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

And, for sure, when the 1980s arrived, the U.S. was engulfed in a fitness epidemic.

Consider this excerpt from a story, titled, “Club Industry Features Clubs of the 1980s,” published in 2008 at the website of Club Industry, an online gym and health club industry publication:

Richard Simmons in his heyday in the 1980s (image credit: Richard Simmons)

“By the time the 1980s — the decade of Ronald Reagan, ‘Dallas’ and JR Ewing, Richard Simmons, big shoulder pads and even bigger hair — arrived, the fitness industry had emerged from basements and garages where it had been home to bodybuilders to become an industry of tennis, racquetball and fitness facilities appealing to a broader market with broader offerings. In 1981, 70 million Americans — about half the adult population — did some form of exercise compared to 24 percent who did so in 1960. Thirteen million of those people belonged to at least one of the 5,000 health clubs in the country at that time.”

Please click here to be taken to the full story, written by Pamela Kufahl, Editor-In-Chief of Club Industry.

Time Magazine Cover, November 2, 1981 (image credit: Time)

Joe and Ben Weider continued to shepherd the bodybuilding aspect of the fitness craze.  They continued to build the Mr. Olympia, which was a component of a broad bodybuilding and fitness empire – one that included other competitions, and publishing and nutritional supplements.

Bodybuilding grew, and Mr. Olympia served as a standard bearer and spearhead for that growth.

In 1980, the inaugural Ms. Olympia, the professional female bodybuilding contest counterpart was held.  Winning the competition was Rachel McLish.  The Ms. Olympia, which would become the Miss Olympia, was held annually as a stand-alone event until 2000, when it became a part of what was then called the “Olympia Weekend,” of which the locus was the Mr. Olympia competition.

On the men’s side of the ledger, by 1984, first-place prize money had reached $50,000.  Winning the 1984 Mr. Olympia, as he would do for the following seven straight years was the U.S.’s Lee Haney.  When the UK’s Dorian Yates, in 1992, began his six-in-a-row winning streak, he took home $100,000, as he would for every win.

On the scene, in 1998, was Ronnie Coleman, a U.S. athlete.  His win, in New York City, came with a $110,000 cash award.  Following the 1998 contest, Mr. Olympia was moved permanently to Las Vegas.  It was in Las Vegas that Ronnie Coleman ran his Mr. Olympia consecutive winning streak to eight, with the final win bringing him $150,000.

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Ms. Olympia continued to be held – even as the sport failed to attract near the following as did Mr. Olympia.  A physique competition of  overly muscular females did not have the draw of a physique competition of overly muscular males.

Miss Olympia history is one of dominance by U.S. athletes who put together long winning streaks – including Corinna Everson, who won six consecutive titles, from 1984 through 1989; Lenda Murray, who also won six titles in a row, from 1990 through 1995, and consecutive titles in 2002 and 2003; and Kim Chizevsky-Nicholls, who four consecutive titles, from 1996 through 1999.

Recent photo of six-time Ms. Olympia Lenda Murray

And then there was Iris Kyle.  She won Miss Olympia titles in 2003 and 2004.  That was just the start.  From 2006 through 2014, she won every Miss Olympia.  Perhaps Iris Kyle could have built on her record of 10 Ms. Olympia wins.   Yet 2014 would be the final Miss Olympia.

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Yet even as the Miss Olympia was discontinued and not started back up, the Joe Weider Mr. Olympia franchise expanded and grew other competitions, including in the figure and fitness categories – and then CrossFit … and then Zumba … and then …

Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend represented and encompassed more and more of the realm of fitness and sports performance.

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But Mr. Olympia remains the anchor.

In 2009 and 2010, the U.S.’s Jay Cutler won his third and fourth Mr. Olympia (he also won in 2006 and 2007), with each of his final two wins earning him $200,000.

The 20011 Mr. Olympia was won by Phil “The Gift” Heath, a native of Seattle and a former shooting guard for the NCAA Div. 1 University of Denver basketball team. Heath took home $250,000.  Heath made it five Mr. Olympias in a row in 2015, and won $400,000 that year, the same amount when he improved his win streak to six in 2016.

Other 2016 Mr. Olympia money winners are as follows, with place and athlete paired with the cash prize:  2.) Shawn Rhoden (U.S.) $150,000; 3.) Dexter Jackson (U.S.) $100,000; 4.) Mamdouh Elssbiay (Egypt) $55,000; 5.) William Bonac (Ghana) $45,000; 6.) Roelly Winklaar (Curacao) $35,000; 7.) Cedric McMillan (U.S.) $25,000; 8.) Dallas McCarvar (U.S.) $20,000; 9.) Josh Lenartowicz (Australia) $18,000; 10.) and Justin Compton (U.S.) $16,000.

Today

What began as a bodybuilding competition followed by a small society of enthusiasts and physical culturalists, has become the biggest bodybuilding and fitness and active lifestyle extravaganza on the planet.

While the 2017 Mr. Olympia champion will make $250,000, not the $400,000 awarded in 2015 and 2016, total prize money across the competitions is a record $900,000.

The exposition element of the weekend continues to grow and expand rapidly across its tradeshow and all its competitions and performances.

“Teamwork is inspired with the challenge of delivering for a winning and championship organization,” said Curt DaRosa.  “And Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend is a true winner and a true champion.”

Trade show marketing plays a vital role in gaining an audience for your event, but are you sure you have every corner covered?

What’s Your Trade Show Marketing Campaign Missing?

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Trade show marketing plays a vital role in gaining an audience for your event, but are you sure you have every corner covered?

Marketing strategies can always use a little bit of tweaking to improve, and here are a few tips that might help you do so.

1. Enter the digital age
First thing you'll want to do with your marketing strategy is pivot to a digital presence—embrace the internet. Every marketer should have multiple means of spreading information:

  • Blog
  • Social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat)
  • Newsletters
  • Mobile apps (Periscope, event apps)

These four mediums are vital for passing along information, generating interest in your event and cultivating a following. Every marketing campaign should be focused on promoting brand awareness, and digital content is an excellent and affordable way to improve it. Take a look at this tweet from the 2016 NACDS Total Store Expo:

There are a couple of factors working for the show organizer right now with this shared photo:

  • Influential people sharing photos and information about your event.
  • Attendees shown in the photo.
  • A glimpse into what the trade expo will look like.
  • Trending hashtag.
  • Brand recognition.

All of these work in harmony to create a culture for your trade show—but it couldn't have happened if you were still sending out flyers and printed newsletters.

2. Don't make people search for your content
As a rule of thumb, don't expect people to search past the first page for your information. This is why search engine optimization is so important for marketing your trade show. Prospective attendees won't find your content—it should find them.

Event Manager Blog reported that some simple tips for improving SEO off the bat are to make better use of your headers and anchor text. Since search engines run on algorithms, your content's headers or subtitles should be using the <"h1"> code. Bolding the text or making it a larger font size won't do anything to help your search rankings.

Anchor text is a section of the blog that is hyperlinked to a URL. In the past, many companies would go with the cliché, "Contact us here," and link to their contact page. This is outdated—search engines want something original. For example, the next time you're writing an article about how to efficiently tackle complex trade show installations, try linking to the substance of the solution.

These practices should translate to your social media, as well. Hashtags should be something related to your event, easy to remember and simple enough to understand that anyone could figure out what it's referring to. According to Event Farm, nearly half of all marketers have a difficult time using social media effectively. While part of that is just a learning curve, the other part can be largely attributed to navigating it. Spend time on social media understanding what keywords will drive traffic to your Twitter or Facebook page.

Social media is key to a successful digital marketing campaign.Social media is key to a successful digital marketing campaign.

3. Live interaction
Once you have a well-oiled digital marketing campaign on your hands, it's time to put it to work. Research conducted by Wayin found 58 percent of marketers leverage their social media following to drum up traffic during events associated with their target campaign.

If your event isn't the top destination for professionals in its field quite yet, consider piggy-backing off one that is. You won't gain anything by not acknowledging the other trade show's existence, but you stand to pull followers in your direction if you do.

Your social media presence should try and take an authoritative view on everything in the industry. Consequently, sending out a tweet about another big event going on—and using that hashtag—will show new and old followers your commitment to providing them useful information.

This tactic can be extended to your own turf. Live tweet with or post pictures on Facebook during an event of attendees enjoying the experience. This will help you generate comments and likes, gain exposure on the social media landscape and show that your expo is more than just another trade show.

Implementing all of these tactics will drive up your following in no time, and contribute to the brand reputation. Results are best viewed through a long-term lens, so remember that just because you don't have 1,000 followers now, doesn't mean you won't the next time your trade show comes around.

In some respect, trade show organizers have a similar role to salespeople. A successful pitch is required for any event to take off in popularity, and time needs to be spent crafting one.

Selling the Importance of Your Trade Show

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In some respect, trade show organizers have a similar role to salespeople. A successful pitch is required for any event to take off in popularity, and time needs to be spent crafting one.

Here are a couple of ways you can pitch your next event as "the" destination to show off products and find a new audience.

Face-to-face still matters
With so many topics focused around technology, it's easy to forget the physical aspects of selling and pitching are still necessary. Many companies will shudder at the cost to exhibit at a trade show, but they're wrong in thinking their new and shiny digital marketing campaign can bring in the same amount of qualified leads.

Amazon recently came to an understanding on this and decided to build its first brick-and-mortar store. It did this to give a face to the company, cover multiple corporate objectives in the sales funnel and provide tangible structure to the company's marketing strategy. Though this is business-to-consumer selling, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research believes the same principles can apply to business-to-business trade shows.

The CEIR believes there are a number of important aspects putting a face to a corporate entity provides:

  • Builds brand awareness.
  • Creates and maintains relationships.
  • Provides structure to product selection, purchase and repurchase.

While marketing campaigns can drive incredible amounts of awareness, it can't always forge a brand connection.

Face-to-face meetings are vital for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business.Face-to-face meetings are vital for both business-to-consumer and business-to-business.

Making the sale
There are a number of statistics available that support this idea that trade shows offer unique value that digital marketing just can't cover. CT Business Travel reported that 95 percent of professionals believe face-to-face meetings are still vital to a healthy business relationship. Another 87 percent assert that face-to-face dealings are crucial in sealing big deals. Millennials are backing these findings as well, with CT Business Travel reporting 80 percent of them agree that face-to-face is still vital professionally.

After establishing with an exhibitor the importance of meeting attendees on the trade show floor rather than email, it's also crucial that you help them understand the two strategies are co-dependent. Digital marketing drives physical marketing, and ROI will be difficult to judge if you have one without the other.

All that's left is to establish how combining the two can effectively clear the cost of the booth, flying a sales staff out to the trade show and all the expenses associated. A Technology Sales Resource Interactive whitepaper reported a few key ROI statistics that show just how valuable cross-channel marketing can be.

"Attending a trade show influenced 72 percent of customers into buying a product."

For starters, out of all the trade shows TSRI evaluated, one out of every four attendees signed a purchase order and three-quarters at least asked for a quote. These face-to-face interactions necessitate an urge on the buyers part due to a relationship forming from the get-go.

Another startling statistic found during the research is that it cost companies on average 22 percent less to contact a potential customer through a trade show, rather than via the phone. This is essential for businesses that rely on repeat buyers, as they can schedule meetings with them in advance and effectively slot up all of the booth's allotted time.

Lastly, 72 percent of attendees told researchers that visiting the seller's booth at the trade show influenced their decision to purchase. If anything should help drive an argument for exhibitors to have a physical representation of their company at your event, that statistic could be it.

Winning businesses over can be a difficult task but when armed with the right numbers and information, it becomes manageable. Boost the exhibitor count at your next trade show by demonstrating the still-relevant need for face-to-face interactions between companies and consumers.

It seems like an absurd thing to say - plan your event around what its attendees will enjoy. Who doesn't do this already, right?

Plan Your Event With Its Attendees in Mind

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It seems like an absurd thing to say – plan your event around what its attendees will enjoy. Who doesn’t do this already, right?

The simple fact of the matter is the average attendee is changing from an older, C-suite executive to a younger millennial. With that shift in age comes a major adjustment in ideology.

Market as it is now
There are certain cursory elements that can be adapted when planning your event if you understand the demographics of attendees. What type of food is offered, how much access to the internet and even whether a ticket is digital or hard copy all matters to certain people.

Event Manager Blog pointed out the attendee market currently belongs to “generation C,” as the website has dubbed it. This isn’t necessarily defined so much by an age gap as it is by what they have come to expect:

  • Connection
  • Communication
  • Curation
  • Community

The first two characteristics, connection and communication, really drive the last two traits, and it’s easy to see why they’re so prominent. The Pew Research Center found that 68 percent of American adults have a smartphone. With Pew’s research now showing that millennials compose the largest portion of the workforce, it’s simple to surmise that number will rise as time moves forward.

It becomes easy to paint a picture of exactly what methods can engage attendees the most once you have an idea of what they really like.

Generation C has come to expect technology to be included in most aspects.Generation C has come to expect technology to be included in most aspects.

Before the event
There are two areas you need to prepare for with your target audience in mind before the trade show kicks off – marketing and organizing. Weigh the conventional options you’ve been using – word of mouth, newsletters and flyers – with what “generation C,” is used to.

Email is out and social media is in. Fire up your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and use those mediums to reach the attendees you want. Those who have been in the industry a while, aka generation X and baby boomers, will likely already know about your event if it’s an annual one. Focus on those who may not have been in their professional position the year before, and try getting on their level to target them.

When it comes to organizing, encourage the use of technology in the form of mobile apps. Communication and community are key, as Event Manager Blog pointed out, and mobile apps can cover both. They can direct attendees to other users with the same professional interests, or connect vendors with buyers. Event planners must move to the role of matchmaker, essentially, and the best way to cover your bases it to prepare before the event goes live.

During and after the trade show
This is the part where all four C’s really come into play. If your pre-event planning and use of technology paid off, you can then parlay that into driving personal connections. According to a study by Meetings Mean Business, despite the common train of thought, millennials find face-to-face networking to be more valuable than any other form.

“Mobile apps can help facilitate networking.”

By getting everyone onto your event app before the event, you can drive real interpersonal connections the moment attendees hit the floor. Match up professional interests with industry professions to really give attendees the value they’re looking for when networking at these events.

Event Manager Blog also suggests ensuring there’s consistent, unfettered and free internet access for attendees to enjoy, as well as designated charging stations. Communication and connection can’t really be achieved well without having power and Wi-Fi on attendees’ smartphones.

Ensuring ultimate connectivity, getting the word out through mediums your attendees use and helping them forge real face-to-face connections will be key for a successful trade show – all you have to do is facilitate it.

Maximize the Amount of Qualified Leads You Gather

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Trade shows often feature a mutual, beneficial relationship between buyers and sellers. Attendees are looking for solutions to their problems, and salespeople often have the right ticket to get the job done.

When it comes down to it, the goal is to leave an event with as many qualified or partially qualified leads as possible – that’s what brings return on investment both to the trade show organizer and your booth. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re taking all the right steps to get the most out of your experience.

Reach out before the event
It’s likely this isn’t your first rodeo as a salesperson. The more leads you can get before the event starts, the better. How is this done? According to Forbes, you’ll want to reach into your box of business cards and set up appointments with attendees. These can be for showing off your wares, responding to questions or even setting up one-on-one times with executives and potential buyers.

Reach out before the event and set up appointments with contacts so you know your booth will be busy.Reach out before the event and set up appointments with contacts so you know your booth will be busy.

By contacting people before the event, you’ve already developed a baseline ROI to work with. Any qualified leads you gain during the trade show that weren’t initially foreseen are just added benefit. Another aspect of this is narrowing down your prospect pool. Make sure the entire booth staff understands the target personas, and what type of conversation qualifies as a partial or full lead. Use the appointments you’ve already set up as a precursor to help your staff understand which types of buyers you’re looking to lead down the sales funnel.

It’s all about how you act
In a sea of salespeople, do you want to be known as the booth selling a product, or providing a solution? Forbes recommends leaning toward the latter. By focusing on helping attendees solve their problem, rather than pitching your product as the sole remedy, you’re creating a much better bond with your lead. With this in mind, you’ll want to refocus your conversations a little differently.

“Trade shows are the perfect place to share industry knowledge.”

Pipeliner Sales points out that trade shows are the perfect stage to show your industry knowledge. If you get a chance to join a lecture panel, the sheer credibility you gain from fielding questions and giving advice will lead to leads down the line.

When you’re out in front of your booth, don’t go straight into the sales pitch. Cultivate the lead by opening with an informal conversation, but don’t linger on it too long or you may lose it. There’s a fine line between rushing a meeting and timing it well, and this is just something that takes practice.

Make use of technology
It’s likely the trade show your attending will have some sort of event app to help you categorize leads – use it. This will ensure you’re not forgetting anybody, and you can insert pertinent information from the conversation, like what products they were interested in, competitors they’ve worked with before and the general tone of the exchange.

Using an automated program that can maintain contacts for you, instead of inserting them manually, can save you time and trouble, and allow you to contact more attendees than you otherwise would. This way, an email will already be sent out to those leads before the day is over – and more importantly, when your interaction is fresh in their mind.

Share the wealth
If your company has any sponsors at the event, share attendee information you’ve gained to create a larger pool. According to Forbes, there may be some overlap in leads, but you’ll still have much more than what you started with. By pooling resources, you can leave with the maximum amount of qualified leads based on the amount of people who attended.

How to Build the Ever-Important Event Brand

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There are some events in which you only need an acronym to know what they are. As an event marketer, you may find yourself having to explain to industry professionals what your event is called after giving them a few letters, though.

Just as a company brand is important to bringing in candidates for job openings, an event’s brand is critical to generating revenue and sales leads. If no one knows your event exists, there’s a good chance you may not receive the kind of attendance numbers you thought you’d get.

Consistency is key
When you’re planning your first event, keep in mind you want it to come out a lot like a fast-food burger. The reason restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King are able to open up all over the world is because their food stays the same. If they were to have differences in core products by location, it would destroy their reputations.

“Be sure to align all advertising with the same message and logo.”

Events are similar, in that you want attendees to immediately step into the venue and recognize it’s your event. Exhibitor Online recommends using this as leverage across your marketing campaigns. This means using identical language across all mediums, as well as the same logo to represent it.

When industry professionals begin to see your brand logo and message pop up everywhere, it will start to stick in their mind. The next time they think about “product XYZ,” they’ll immediately think of your brand – if the marketing was done right.

As for the event, while you want some features to differ year-to-year, you do want some sameness. Use experiential planning methods to make each event unique, but keep the same booth styles and layouts. Just like a fast-food restaurant, you always know where the cash register is and basically what you’re in for when you order a burger. In the same realm, keep registration and other key areas easy to find by having a similar layout every year.

Work with other businesses
Just because you want to draw attention to your event doesn’t mean your company can’t cooperate with others. Working with other competitors in the industry as a sponsor can give your brand the spotlight it otherwise wouldn’t receive, according to EventBrite.

Identify other events industry professionals attend besides your own. Get in contact with the event organizers to see if any sponsorship slots are available and whether they would like to sponsor your event as well. You may be surprised how cooperative they will be.

This will help your logo spread further than it has before. Again, the main motive here is consistency. If attendees see your logo at every event or exhibition, they will conduct more research about your company. Branding is all about exposure, and sponsorship helps solidify a medium for it.

Socialize during the event
As an event planner or organizer, you shouldn’t be in the shadows once attendees start arriving. Collaborate with registration to figure out the big names who are going to attend – CEOs, CPOs and journalists, to name a few.

The Muse ascertains the best time to build your brand is on the floor during the show. This is the place where you can tell important industry professionals the story behind your event and your company. Spreading the (consistent) word about your event will help build its identity and the story won’t be falling on deaf ears. Event organizers that are truly invested in the work take every opportunity to talk about it – this is one that shouldn’t be overlooked.

It's up to you to find people and tell them your event's story.It’s up to you to find people and tell them your event’s story.

Put the event’s face everywhere
When it comes down to it, content and advertising will eventually disappear into the nether of forgotten marketing campaigns. It sounds harsh, but it’s true. Promotional merchandise will always last, though, and it serves as a way to get some free publicity from attendees.

EventBrite recommends investing in some merchandise branded with your company or event logo and motto. While you don’t want to sink your budget with it, make sure it won’t break or fall apart after just a few weeks. The longer it lasts and the better it looks, the more people will use it or wear it.

Use this material in contests to gain attendee engagement, or hand it out at the door when people are leaving. Either way, make sure it’s free. These people will essentially be walking billboards, so don’t make them pay for the cost of production.