by Matt Alderton | May 09, 2018
When it comes to reaching trade show attendees, it's not just how you market your event that matters. It's also where you market it.

So asserts the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), which yesterday published the second report in its four-part "How to Grow Attendance" series. Titled "Report Two: Marketing Channel Mix and Other Tactics that Drive Growth," the report identifies which marketing channels are most popular among exhibition organizers and highlights the most effective marketing tactics that organizers use to grow attendance.

"Marketing continues to undergo rapid transformation," said CEIR CEO Cathy Breden. "This report documents the explosion of marketing channel tactics. Today's media landscape is fragmented and media consumption habits are personalized. One size does not fit all. This report offers focus and identifies which tactics are apt to work best, guideposts to help build a multichannel marketing mix, and other tactics to build a marketing campaign that drives attendee growth."

The report's main findings: A multi-channel mix is the key to growth, and the most effective channels are email to the organizer's internal email list, event website landing pages and microsites for target segments, social media content marketing, "personalized" content marketing whereby a prospect action triggers a follow-up with relevant content, and exhibitor invitation programs.

"On average, 14 tactics are used, including a mix of established and newer digital tactics and longstanding non-digital tactics," said CEIR Senior Research Director Nancy Drapeau. "However, this report finds that attendance growth is not positively correlated with how many tactics are used; it is driven by how effectively tactics are deployed."

Published in March, part one of the "How to Grow Attendance" series -- "Report One: Planning and Goal Setting that Positions Efforts for Success" -- documented the most popular approaches event organizers use to reach potential attendees, discussed event organizers' biggest marketing challenges, and presented the strategies that are most successful at generating growth. Scheduled for release later this year, parts three and four will focus on "Messaging that Resonates and Delivers" and "Plans on Where to Improve Approach in Near-term Future," respectively.