FundForum International in Berlin is a key event to network, nurture new business relationships and showcase the latest industry thought leadership. But with competition for the spotlight, how can communications specialists maximize the opportunity? We’ve been helping our asset management and technology clients get the most from this important calendar fixture for years. Here are some top tips for maximising return on your investment at this year’s event.
1. Set event goals
Get the basics right. Setting out clear, achievable objectives and KPIs for attending, sponsoring or speaking will provide a focus for your campaign, help secure budget and align the team behind a common goal. Having specific goals around lead generation and brand awareness across different products will help guide the strategy and provide proof points for return on investment.
2. Identify the right commercial opportunities
Knect365, the publishing giant behind FundForum, offer a range of event and digital marketing commercial options, from speaking and panel slots, sponsorship, content marketing, video interviews and email marketing.
Panel spots and sponsored email campaigns to delegates can be effective, but also drain budgets. Think creatively about how to use the tools available. Sponsoring the event WiFi can drive a traffic to your website or landing page, while a targeted social advertising campaign via LinkedIn or Google Adwords could yield the best results.
3. Create engaging content
To generate great ROI, you need compelling content. Identify a common theme between the agenda and your commercial objectives.
Passive vs. active fund flows, emerging market trends, ESG investing, regulatory trends (e.g. MiFID II and the incoming SFTR rules) are all topics that are front of mind. But how can you provide a fresh perspective? Plan ahead and be bold in your assertions.
4. Cultivate digital assets
Core digital assets such as landing pages will provide a campaign hub and an opportunity to tailor your message, improve the user experience and generate leads ahead of the event. Host relevant, useful content, tell your corporate story and convert visitors to actionable leads via contact forms.
5. Create community buzz
A pipeline of FundForum specific social and email marketing content can foster engagement from those that already know you. This provides a good opportunity to gain greater brand visibility among your existing and prospective client base. The trick is to mix compelling thought leadership with a clear call to action.
6. Get ultra-targeted
Once you’ve confirmed your FundForum programme and have a pipeline of great content ready to go, how do you reach your target audience most effectively?
Sponsored LinkedIn campaigns enable users to target by job title, age, demographic, location, salary band and level of experience. Google Adwords allows brands to convert event-related website traffic searches. Consider a mix of channels to reach your audience.
7. On-site media interviews
Fund management titles and the German financial services press make up the bulk of journalist attendees. On-site interviews are an effective way to raise the profile of your executive team. Competition for top journalist’s time is high, so focus on unique insights.
For instance, how will ESG funds evolve, which markets are seeing the greatest move into passive strategies and what trading tech could give active managers an edge? These are just some of the topics guaranteed to crop up in Berlin.
Preparing your spokespeople and refining messaging will help convert these meetings into coverage.
8. Find new ways to drive footfall to the stand
Everyone wants to generate buzz at their stand. Few do it well. Prize draws, virtual reality experiences and even a separate event programme can help lure delegates. Make sure you have a firm understanding of the event layout, footfall and delegate flow, so that you can design your stand in the most effective way.
And remember, your attendees shouldn’t be glued to the stand – it can often be best to use it as a base for pre-scheduled meetings or inviting VIPs back to your stand for networking drinks.
9. Foster long term relationships
Cultivate interest from prospective clients and qualify potential leads. Lead generation is a common objective and KPI, keeping these individuals warm with timely communication and tracking engagement through your marketing automation platforms will give your business development teams greater visibility of the sales cycle and help you secure budget for future event spend.
10. Review, tweak, then tweak again
Marketing, especially digital marketing, is by its very nature a trial by error affair. Analyse your campaign results against your objectives and KPIs to review what went well and what did not. Compiling results across multiple channels into a single dashboard will help simplify. Google Analytics, LinkedIn Campaign Manager, Adwords Manager and proper email analytics tracking via your distribution system will help build a picture of how your audiences have engaged with you.
If you’d like to get some ideas or support for your involvement in the event, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. We will be on-site in Berlin on the 11th June and look forward to seeing you there!