This last week has been a busy one for the brand services team – as well as working with the editorial and production teams to prepare our 2020 features lists and media pack, we’ve been attentive to our clients’ campaigns for London Vet Show, ensuring deadlines have been met, ads are in place and press opportunities highlighted, and monitoring the live social media and digital campaigns rolling out over the course of the event to ensure they are performing optimally.
We’re also attending the event ourselves, which offers our team some unique and important opportunities. For us to be able to develop credible ideas, advice or solutions for our clients, we need to be on point with our understanding of the sector; the emerging trends, product launches and developments; our clients’ competitors’ activities; new entrants to the market; and the topics that are engaging both our clients and readership.
Being able to visit our clients’ show stands allows us to develop our understanding of their business aims and messages, product ranges and company structure. It can offer an interesting insight to see how different companies deal with their own customers and prospects in the event environment – whether they draw all and sundry on to their stand or create an exclusive area for key customers; whether the tone is formal or informal, attentive and individual, or a space that encourages delegates to explore independently; and whether the focus is more on education, entertainment or commerce. It can help us to understand more about companies’ cultures, and spark creative and relevant ideas for future campaigns.
It is often the only chance we’ll get to meet our overseas or more far-flung clients in person, talk through their needs and show them the options we can offer. Even if we speak to them regularly by telephone or email, there is nothing more effective than speaking to someone face to face when you have the full range of non-verbal aspects to aid communication; not to mention the potential of the shared experience to build rapport and trust between you. So long as you manage not to spill your coffee in their lap, at least. And it’s enjoyable – forming relationships, renewing acquaintances, finding out what makes your contacts tick and discovering that you both share an appreciation of Pantone 2685 (yeah, nerdy maybe, but true nevertheless).
So every industry event deluges us with a wealth of learning about our industry, our readership, our clients, our own company and, if we’re reflective, ourselves – and whether or not any of us come back with sales in the order book, we will have gained something from the experience that, although may not be so tangible, can be of immeasurable value.