Have you ever been in the situation where you thought everything was going smoothly? Picture it: your branding message is on point, you’re ahead of the deadlines, only to find you aren’t in compliance with regulations and then you’re yourself scrambling to make changes in order to get your campaign posted on time, or at all! Throw in having to play by someone else’s rules and it’s a situation all too familiar. Navigating restrictions while also fulfilling your marketing needs can be tricky. How can you maximize your creativity while encountering (and abiding by) hurdles?
The road from media selection to posting is never a straight path
Any media placements can have obstacles when it comes to the creative. Media for trade shows are sometimes compounded by these obstacles. Creative roadblocks can potentially pop up at any level; from the city, local organizations, trade show guidelines and/or approval, internal company limitations, product release dates, FDA regulations, and the list goes on and on. Being aware of what restrictions are looming around the corner can aid your creative team in getting ahead of potential problems and effectively producing an impactful, truly unique campaign. As a rule of thumb, always make a point to stay in close contact with available resources for media placements, whether that be researching the event website or relying on your media agency.
The value in creative
As an exhibitor, your top three goals at a trade show are likely brand awareness, lead generation and relationship building. Brand awareness being the first step makes it the most important for ensuring success in the other two goals. The buying authority for brands lies in the hands of 81% trade show attendees, 46% of those being in upper management positions. This is an extreme amount of value…and pressure. Trade show attendees are potential customers, influencers, and decision makers. It’s absolutely worth familiarizing yourself with the nuances specific to the event or show where you are looking to advertise. Take into account the media placed, its location in relation to the convention center, or the hotel, or the favorite restaurant of that executive of that one company you’ve been eyeing.
Check in Early and Often
Be aware of guidelines. Can you use the event’s logos, or maybe you have to use the event logo and didn’t know! Can you tell people to visit you at your booth? Can you include a welcome message to the event’s host city? Do you have enough time between that date and printing, shipping, installing? Use the resources available to you and create a timeline that outlines the major milestone in your process. This is a wonderful way to give yourself a series of check-ins to make sure you are in compliance. Make sure your creative team has a copy of or access to any published regulations.
Plan A, Plan B, Plans C through Z
A great practice is to have several versions of the artwork ready to go- brand specific creative and corporate creative. The last place you want to find your self is with your logo on a plain background because it’s too late to get anything else approved. This may require some additional time or extra production on the front end, but keep in mind the worse-case scenario is already handled and ready to go. Creative obstacles dictated by an outside party could force your team to rethink the entire strategy. However, being armed with this knowledge from the get-go will push them to think outside the box.
In summary, be sure to make sure your creative team is aware of the physical implications of the space, get the regulations to everyone involved, get approval early & regularly, have multiple back up plans, and keep the lines of communication open. If only there was an agency that could help you navigate the never-ending checklist or one that has 25+ years of trade show experience. Email us if you’re interested in an in-depth look at the intricacies of creative execution in the trade show world.