Help Your Exhibitors Wade through a Sea of E-Mail Clutter

by Lisa Goecke Malikow, Director of Tradeshows, National Restaurant Association

I have a confession to make:

Every day I receive about 40 emails that are some form of “newsletter” from various industries or thinly veiled sales emails masquerading as content. Every day I read about 3 of those emails and the rest get deleted or saved in my “read later” folder (which I never look at).

Exhibitors in your show are no different than I am when it comes to paying attention to these types of communications. Consider for a moment how many different groups are contacting an exhibitor about 1 show – the show organizer, the official service contractor, the facility, the utilities providers, the florist, the audio visual group, not to mention other third parties selling exhibitors their services. Combine all of that with the communications they are certainly receiving on other shows or work projects and of course the exhibitor starts to miss important messaging! It is the responsibility of the show organizer to help the exhibitor wade through all the clutter and focus on having a successful event with your organization. You may never get every exhibitor to read every piece of information you send out, but making some easy changes to the frequency and types of email you send will go a long way to helping get your message heard through the clutter.  

Manage the Calendar
Tightly manage when and how frequently you are allowing email communications to your exhibitors. There should never be a time when the exhibitor is receiving your newsletter, a sales email on sponsorships, and a housing reminder on the same day.  When you put together your communication calendar, designate certain days of the week for specific messaging, i.e. Newsletters go out on Tuesdays, Official Services Contractor emails go out on Wednesdays, etc.  

Visual Stamp of Approval
Require all of your official show service providers, including the facility, to add a special logo or icon to their communication. This logo indicates that the organization has an official relationship with your event and can be trusted. It also allows the exhibitor to simply scan the communication to understand if it is something to which they should pay attention.

Add Video
Mix up the way you are delivering your messages. Short videos are fun and engaging ways to allow your exhibitors to receive information without having to read.  Video length is key when it comes to these types of messages. You can’t expect someone who doesn’t read your newsletter to watch a 10 minute video on everything they need to know for your show. And remember, you don’t have to be an expert at producing videos to add these to your portfolio. We use a software program called Camtasia, but there are plenty of similar programs you can use.

Are you interested in submitting a blog? Submissions can be sent to IAEE MWC Chapter Coordinator, Elizabeth Haley at [email protected].