festival of work picture

June 12, 2019

Over 300 companies are exhibiting at Festival of Work this week, but only two of them are using UTM tracking to see how much new web traffic the event’s website generates, and only three are promoting themselves via a dedicated landing page custom built for the show’s visitors.

Before we get all heated up, let’s explain the importance of these things.

What’s UTM tracking?

Sometimes when you click on a link on a website, you see a long string of stuff after the actual website address. If you click on this link then look at your browser’s address bar you’ll see what we mean. (This long string of stuff follows the basic web address: utm_source=hootsuite&utm_source=Linkedin&utm_medium=social+&utm_medium=FOWblog&utm_term=&utm_content=+survival+guide&utm_campaign=+survival+guide&utm_campaign=utmtip)

What does this do?

In a nutshell, this code allows you to track the source of the website traffic coming to your site. The code will create a campaign in your Google analytics.

Only two companies have bothered to do this on the Festival of Work’s exhibitors’ page here.

Why does this matter?

You’ve bought an exhibitor package for Festival of Work and one of the big benefits that sold you was the exposure you’d get by piggybacking on all the promotional opportunities offered by the show’s website. There’s the opportunity to click through to your site from the exhibitors’ page, banner ads in partner media, and so on.

To convince you that all this exposure was valuable, you’re likely to have been dealt some pretty impressive statistics by the sales team. Being listed on the exhibitors’ page delivered value because the site is visited by a huge number of L&D professionals each week. Advertising with the event’s media partners was valuable because these partners could demonstrate impressive readership.

So wouldn’t you want to know what actually happens when your brand and offer is exposed to this beautifully profiled audience? For 99% of Festival of Work’s exhibitors, apparently not, because only two of them are using UTM tagging on this page.

We’ve worked with dozens of learning businesses over the years, and at one point or another, all of them start asking for content because some expo somewhere wants an article for the show mag or a blog or whatever. When we deliver content for this purpose what we discover is frightening. Digital show magazines or brochures often seem to deliver shockingly low levels of web traffic compared to more proactive social outputs. It’s almost like these media products were no more than an afterthought from the organisers of the main event 😉

When we run campaigns outside of the marketing frameworks offered by the big trade shows and expos they usually work better.

Offering event visitors a dedicated landing page is another thing that makes your trade show marketing work better, but only three Festival of Work exhibitors are doing this. Dedicated landing pages deliver more seamless customer experiences for the people considering visiting you at the show, and most marketing departments are equipped to set them up in a matter of hours. But they don’t.

Why is all this important?

Here’s the thing: most trade show and expo visitors aren’t in buying mode when they’re roaming the alleys. We routinely conduct exit polls that tell us the time between discovering a potential supplier at a trade show and actually becoming a customer is something in the region of nine months. OK, so something like one to three per cent of Festival of Work’s visitors are probably actively seeking and ready to buy, but all the rest need solid, expertly executed nurturing, sometimes for months.

That’s why so many businesses talk to us about content marketing and digital demand generation just after the doors have closed on their latest big trade show.

The Ultimate Marketing Survival Guide for Trade Shows and Expos

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