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by Schae Kane (pictured above), director, strategy at FreemanXP

With dozens of options for attendees to choose from, getting them to notice your exhibit booth is a science. In fact, it’s become a fairly complicated science, thanks to the demand for deeper, more “emotionally accurate” audience segmentation. An entirely new cottage industry of data gathering has sprung up within the marketing industry, with data scientists as its new rock stars and audience insights its precious currency.

Currently, there are six widely-accepted types of audience segmentation:

  1. Demographical
  2. Generational
  3. Cultural
  4. Geographic
  5. Psychographic
  6. Interest-based

Demographics and geographical segmentation are most common, and typically center around age, gender and location. However, these parameters tend to cast a wide net, and tell you very little about the actual emotional and psychological needs of your audience. Generational sorting provides a bit more detail, but is still based on similarly broad demographic data.

Cultural data and psychographical segmentation, on the other hand, dig deeper and provide insights that position you to best engage with your audience—and could take your booth experience to the next level. This data helps identify your audiences’ views, beliefs , hopes, pains, concerns and values—all of which help you garner a more insightful view of who they truly are. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be better equipped to reach and connect with these groups on a deeper, more intimate level.

Now that we’ve touched on the different forms of audience segmentation, let’s dive into how to best  utilize this tactic to connect with your targets and drive more traffic to your booth. (It should be noted that in order for exhibitors to accomplish the steps outlined in this article, it is necessary to have access to the Show Organizer database.)

Get to know your audience

The first step is collecting the right data. The data-mining benefits are two-fold: this approach helps define your audience and helps you develop targeted messaging (later in the process). A great way to collect this data is through surveys. This valuable tool goes right to the source for critical information. Once gathered, it’s time to put that data to use and start sorting your attendees into buckets by asking questions like:

  • Which respondents attend your events and exhibits?
  • How influential is this group?
  • And how essential are they to the success of your exhibit?

Unlock the key insights

The second step is to dive deeper into the data you’ve collected to truly hone in on what makes your audience tick.

  • What are their interests?
  • How old are they?
  • What is their definition of a successful exhibit (and how do they view yours)?
  • What are their media consumption patterns and preferences?
  • Are they likely to share your exhibit socially?

These insights will not only drive the design of your exhibit, they will also help your brand evolve and adapt to changing moods and sentiments.

Apply what you’ve learned

Once you’ve analyzed the data, you’ll be ready to take the third step and put that critical information to work.  And before you know it, your exhibits and the interactions with your targets will reap the benefits.

With data in hand, you are now positioned to craft the correct message to best resonate with each audience segment. Targeted messaging helps deepen connections and helps you provide personalized experiences—because when it comes to connecting with your audience, personalization is key.

It’s also important to get personal about your exhibit and the experience you’re providing. Reflect on post-exhibit survey data to better understand what drew an attendee to your booth (what specifically piqued their interest), as well as what potential hurdles prevented visitors from fully experiencing your offerings. This information is crucial to the success of future exhibitions. Gathering and understanding attendee reactions will help you craft more engaging experiences and will position you to better resonate with your core audience and prospects moving forward.

Attracting audiences to your booth is crucial (it’s the reason exhibits and events exist), so why not go into the planning process will all your ducks aligned for success?

Audience segmentation can prove to be an essential tool for exhibit planning, but you need to zero in on the right data to fully unleash its benefits. When applied effectively, this information can attract attendees to your booth and show just how much your brand understands them—after all, you’re now crafting the exhibit experience with precise audience interests and insights in mind.

For more audience insights and to learn how exhibitors can best reach their audiences, check out the latest Freeman white paper.

Schae Kane is director, strategy at FreemanXP.

This story originally appeared in the January/February issue of Exhibit City News, p. 38-39. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_flipbook_janfeb2019web?e=16962537/66750078

 

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