WEC23: A strategic approach to exhibit marketing

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WEC23: A strategic approach to exhibit marketing

By Michael Pinchera | Jun 7, 2023

Jacqueline Beaulieu, HMCC (MPI Georgia Chapter), director of strategic marketing and client engagement for Poretta & Orr, offers an advanced look at her WEC23 session “More Than a Pretty Booth: A Strategic Approach to Exhibit Marketing”

Your sessions is in partnership with the MPI MD Community, but will the education be applicable to planners/marketers of other types of exhibitions?

Jacqueline BeaulieuYes, while healthcare exhibiting can have very unique challenges based on the compliance required and the healthcare provider audience, there are certainly many ideas that will be shared and discussed during this session that will be applicable across all sectors of the exhibition industry. Utilizing something that Poretta & Orr refers to as a 360-degree exhibit marketing strategy is recommended for any company that has an exhibit program.

Are there recent changes or developments in exhibit marketing that you anticipate discussing during your session?

Like every industry, the exhibition industry is looking for the next generation of talent that is interested in exhibits as a career. So, we will talk about staffing and ideas to mitigate challenges that might arise when working in various cities that might also have staffing challenges. We will also talk about ideas to optimize budgets and make those exhibit marketing budgets extend as much as possible in a time of rising costs and tight deadlines.

What, if any, do you think are the hurdles for planners to more strategically evaluate their exhibitions? 

One of the hurdles is to make sure that exhibit planners are communicating with the entire team—essentially banishing silos. This can be especially crucial for healthcare exhibit marketing. Sales and marketing, as well as the exhibit house, should really be involved or at least be invited to listen to the strategy that is developed or implemented. All initiatives and copy should always be approved by legal counsel to mitigate challenges on site or risk of non-compliant marketing activities.

Can you share one thing that you think many planners are doing wrong, strategically, with their exhibitions and exhibit marketing? 

One thing I think many could do even better is examining their exhibit program and determining their goals and objectives for not only their overall program but also for each individual convention the company will be exhibiting at. Your goals and objectives should be different and are key to determining and demonstrating that your program is successful. Success is likely defined differently for every convention and your goals and objectives should align. After each show review your success, and makes adjustments if necessary but also share, share, share your success with internal management. This can be very helpful to have demonstrated throughout the year, especially when budgets are being determined. Budget cuts may be less likely for programs that have demonstrated success based on achieving the goals and objectives pre-defined throughout the year.



Michael Pinchera

Michael Pinchera, MPI's managing editor, is an award-winning writer and editor as well as a speaker, technologist and contributor to business, academic and pop culture publications since 1997.