Tradeshows: Maximizing Awareness in a Tidal Wave of Brands

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How can a brand really stand out at a tradeshow?  It’s not as hard as you may think. Using the the 62nd PGA Merchandise Show that featured more than 40,000 industry professionals from more than 70 countries, let’s first establish branding consistency, goals and target priorities for the event. For instructional purposes and to better establish goals, I will assume promotingCallaway (Links to an external site.) that manufactures and sells golf clubs, balls, apparel, footwear and accessories in more than 110 countries worldwide.

Branding consistency: Displaying consist branding through our black and white color schemes, combined with our data-driven targeting and social media strategy will ensure all our promotions are easily identifiable.

Goals: To make the Callaway booth the #1 destination for attendees amidst the 1,000 competitors at the PGA Merchandise show and 1) Showcase the new Callaway Chrome Soft golf balls and secure at least 1 million balls in sale orders; 2) Feature the advanced Big Bertha Alpha 815 driver and secure $30 million in sales during event. The booth sales person who writes up the most orders will get a $10,000 bonus.

Target:  Reach out and secure onsite appointments with all top industryexecutives. Maximize attendance at opening night Callaway hospitality suite. Maximize attendance at Outdoor Demo Day, the world’s largest professional golf testing event where we will be showcasing our new drivers, clubs and 65 compression soft golf balls.

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Top Three mainstream communication channels

Proximity! Proximity! Proximity – Having been to many trade shows where there are an endless sea of booths—proximity marketing is perfect for the PGA show. We will be using Qualcomm’sGimbal Bluetooth Low Emitting (BLE) beacons (Links to an external site.)because it not only provides a way to communicate with bluetooth capable devices forproximity awareness (Links to an external site.),but the system and customer experience can be customized. The PGA tradeshow floor is so extensive with 1,000 vendors, instead of getting an alert when someone is quite far from the Callaway booth and can be easily distracted, microfencing is much more granular and accurate and will send alerts when attendees are within a stone’s throw of the booth. Afterwards, to ensure that someone who has already visited the booth isn’t alerted again, the registered API key recognizes when a person has been in the booth space.

To sweeten the pot for users to grant permission to enable communications, we will offer a free four pack of our new “soft” golf balls in choice of four colors. Here is a good video that explains the microfencing process (Links to an external site.)

PGA Show Mobile App – The PGA show mobile app will give quick access to an optimum 41,000 attendees, buyers and industry leaders from 79 countries. The app highlights exhibitor map, presentation schedule, show specials, discounts, featured areas and events, demo day info, agenda planning, appointment requests and callbacks.  Because Callaway is a major sponsor for the event, this is a new channel we want to take advantage of to get our maximum reach. As part of the package the most important feature will encourage current and prospective retailers to set up appointments with Callaway during the show.  Other ways we will utilize the app is with the following:

    • Callaway logo branded on all pre-show and onsite show marketing which includes all digital and printed material
    • Callaway logo branded on PGA Show Mobile App registration pages and confirmation email
    • PGA Show Mobile App postcards will be handed out to all at onsite registration
    • Callaway sponsorship mention in first text message opening the show
    • Callaway logo on intro splash page and home page banner ad
    • Feature Big Bertha and new soft golf ball photos & descriptions
    • Feature our latestCalloway video (Links to an external site.)
    • Link directly to Callaway’s featured Showroom

Twitter – Callaway needs to step up their game with Twitter (only 938 followers) and very rarely do they issue a tweet let alone answer a tweet. The show will be a good chance to use this channel with a sample of the following:


Other Best Fit IMC

The other top two forms of multimedia communication that would be the best fit to support Callaway marketing communications plan for the tradeshow are email and postcards.

Email: We will target top people specifically by sending a visually attractive email encouraging to set up appointment with Callaway during the show. This will include a special invitation to the best hospitality suite at the event for several reasons.  1) They know all the big execs in industry will all be in one room in a relaxed atmosphere to do some heavy-duty networking; 2) The reception will be peppered with golf pros and celebrities; 3) The complementary food and drink will be topnotch; 4) there will be special giveaways at this invitation only event.

Postcards: Postcards may seem like a very outdated and outmoded marketing tool—but these can be effectively used and why they are a really good fit for the PGA merchandise show. Postcards would be used two different ways for the show.  They are really good for pre-event promotion because nowadays most businesses are inundated with promotional emails. About one-month prior to the show we will use our best mailing list and send a really nice, glossy postcard that features the booth number and a message that says to call/email to set up an appointment during the show and bring the card for a one-on-one tour and demonstration of all of Calloway’s newest featured golf equipment and clothing. Afterwards, you will receive your choice of a selection of our any latest top products.

The other use for the postcards, is each day at the entrance of the tradeshow we will have a couple of employees passing them out: Stop by the Callaway booth this morning for a complimentary cappuccino/latte in a souvenir cup. The next day we can pass out another with the message to stop by Callaway’s in the afternoon for a beer in a souvenir porcelain mug.

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