Create collateral materials for an event

1. Identify the goal of participating in the trade show or conference.

Setting goals is the first step to creating marketing collateral with a lasting impression. For example, if your goal is to sell X number of a product, provide event-only offers to encourage booth visitors to make purchases. You can track the number of sold items or revenue using the special offer.

2. Calculate the marketing items and quantities needed before, during, and after the event.

Make a list of all the marketing collateral and item sizes needed. If you’re the host, it’s essential to have promotional materials ready for each stage of the event. Examples of marketing collateral: Signs. Banners. Business cards. Event magazines. SWAG. Handouts. Calendars. Social media posts. Ebooks. Pillar pages.

3. Assign tasks and a schedule for the deployment of collateral materials.

Since there are many moving parts in event preparation, discrete roles and project oversight are essential. Work backward from the day of the event to determine the deadline schedules for the assigned tasks. Use a free tool, such as Google Tasks, to assign and create deadlines for each task.

4. Create effective marketing collateral that is eye-catching and aligns with your brand.

Work with experienced designers to create cohesive digital and print collateral. Tailor the marketing materials for the occasion to stand out among your competitors.

5. Choose useful and attractive swag to hand out at events.

Many swag items found at conferences are similar, so choose memorable items that people will use. This can include: Pens with a stylus tip or flashlight. Notepads. Branded T-shirts or hoodies. Socks. Hats. Fans. Tote bags or backpacks. Tech accessories, such as smartphone stands or chargers.

6. Develop visually appealing handouts that convey your brand's value proposition.

Use contrasting colors to make key items stand out. Surround key sections of text with eye-catching shapes, and focus on conveying simple messages that can be easily understood. The visuals should also showcase your brand’s personality. Ensure your handouts are easy for visitors to carry or fit into their purse or wallet. If something is too cumbersome to hold, it’s almost guaranteed to end up in the trash at the end of the day.  Types of handouts: One-page flyers. Booklets. Brochures. Business cards. Free samples.

7. If in-house manufacturing isn’t possible, find a trusted printing partner to ensure the prompt delivery of event materials.

With in-house designers, you have a greater likelihood of ensuring that all marketing materials are ready for the event.  When working with outside sources to create marketing collateral, it’s essential to choose a reputable company known for on-time delivery. This reduces the frustration of not having all your brochures and SWAG on the day of the event.

8. Collect attendee contact information using a business card or entry form drop. Set up a giveaway to encourage people to participate.

While a giveaway isn’t effective for executive-level events, it’s beneficial for B2C events. To set up a giveaway, place a box for people to drop their business cards into. For customer-facing events, use an entry form that allows attendees to include their contact information.  Ensure that your giveaway prize is something people value enough to provide their contact information.

9. Utilize digital marketing collateral to stay top-of-mind after the event.

Examples of items you can leverage to keep consumers engaged after the event: Email campaigns. Social media posts. Videos. Paid ads that target those who attended the event.