Press Releases

Press Releases

01 Oct 2010

Innovative Meetings Marketing Your Event After Your Event

You built anticipation leading up to your meeting, but then let the buzz die once it was over. You’re not alone. A lot of event organizers fall down on the job on the back end — and that’s when a marketing agency can be invaluable.

The fat lady might have sung, but your meeting still isn't over. There's "a certain post-event buzz" that lasts days or months, according to Integrated Show Management & Marketing President Sam Lippman, and if you don't capitalize on that immediately - by updating your website "pretty much the day after" your event ends - "you're already missing an opportunity to create word of mouth."

Lippman, who produces the Exhibition & Convention Executives Forum (ECEF) annually in Washington, D.C., in June, said he has "a one-month window" once the event concludes. By then, he wants 90 percent of his "stuff" - post-show press release, event photos on Flickr, and LinkedIn and Twitter feeds pushing people to the photos and testimonials on his updated website - to be available for people to forward to each other.

Making the Leap
What "amazes" Lippman is how few event producers - even large organizations - follow through on this important piece of their integrated marketing-communications plan. The problem, he said, is that it needs to be done very quickly, and event organizers simply lose steam. He was one of them, until he asked himself: If even large shows don't try to be their own general service contractor, why should I try to be my own marketing agency?

For ECEF this year, Lippman hired Fixation Marketing - not just to manage the back end of the event, but to help him with "all the moving parts" of his marketing campaign. He recommends "making the leap to an outside agency" to other event producers, he said, "because of how difficult and complex it has become to do marketing and communications."

Moving Parts
"Marketing campaigns for trade shows and events have changed dramatically," said Fixation Marketing President and CEO Jean Whiddon. "They've gotten many more moving parts and become much more high-tech. The budgets don't always change that much, so we have to squeeze a lot more out of them. Direct mail and advertising was pretty much what we used to keep our eye on. Now it's still direct mail and advertising, but it's also websites and PURLs [personalized URLs] and e-mail and targeted marketing. The list of all the balls that we have to keep in the air goes on and on."

For Lippman, it was all those parts - plus the consistent attention to detail and the speed needed to keep them going - that made hiring Fixation a smart move, even after ECEF crossed the finish line.

"If you have a lean operation, you're putting every ounce of your energy into producing an event for those X number of days," he said. "It's like a relay. If you don't hand the baton over to somebody else who has the energy and the expertise to then do the post-show marketing and communications, things will get done - in time. And that just doesn't cut it anymore."

Michelle Russell is editor in chief of Convene.

Innovative Meetings is sponsored by the Irving, Texas, Convention and Visitors Bureau,

To learn more about ECEF, visit For more information about Fixation Marketing, visit
Take Away

Why Go Outside to Play?

"I'm not sure full-service marketing firms are for every show," said Fixation's Jean Whiddon, "but I do know that [agencies] have the resources that can ebb and flow in the course of the show cycle. You don't always need six people working on your team, but sooner or later, you're going to. Plus, we have these other dozen or so events that we might be working on over the course of the year - so we've got ideas that are turning all the time, and we're cross-pollinating those ideas. Our clients know much more - always - about their industry than we could know in our ramp-up time. But we bring this expertise, this marketing mind, and this trade-show experience to the table. And together, we make a powerful combination."