Helen Lowe: Marketing déjà vu

Exhibitionsocial media
dejavu-NEW-resized.jpg

Helen Lowe, events and marketing manager at Europa International, talks about the importance of keeping up with the creativity amidst the chaos.


Let’s face it, anyone working in marketing is busy. And when I say busy, I mean caffeine-fuelled, non-stop, always ‘on it’ go go go… Ring a bell?

 

It takes a certain type of person to want to dedicate themselves whole heartedly to a career that leaves them welded to a clipboard and a to-do list for the most part, but a true marketer is like the professional equivalent of Alice in Wonderland… Bonkers.

 

Having worked in the sector for 20-something-years – predominantly in events – I know that better than most.

 

Hands up who has nipped to the bathroom during a family meal to check your emails, or forked out a fortune to attend a concert only to spend the duration checking the response to your latest social media post? Me too.

 

The reality is that (worry lines and stress-related weight gain aside) the majority of us absolutely love it and wouldn’t have it any other way; but when the pressure is on and deadlines are looming there’s always a risk that a usually creative soul could find themselves simply ‘doing what works’.

 

‘So what?’ you would be within your rights to ask. But imagine if everyone in marketing – especially when it comes to marketing an event itself, or marketing a business operating within the events industry – stuck to a tried and tested formula.

 

We’d all be bored to tears within a matter of months, wouldn’t we?

 

Well, not on my watch matey!

 

So I sound a bit smug, I know; and I wasn’t always this comfortable with blue-sky thinking, but when you have organised hundreds of functions (working both in-house and as a consultant) you really have no choice but to think outside the pop-up exhibition tent, let alone the box.

 

Don’t get me wrong, there are elements that are non-compromisable – but apart from the fundamentals, like putting a date and time on the marketing material and invitations, what else is set in stone?

 

My mantra is ‘just do different’ (it was originally ‘Just Do It’, but a well-known sporting brand that shall remain nameless nicked it and I had to regroup).

 

Now, I fully appreciate that not every person in the industry is given the autonomy to ride the creative wave at will; perhaps stifled by controlling clients, or a boss with a non-negotiable vision of what good looks like. However, even if you find your hands tied when it comes to the bigger ticket stuff, there are endless possibilities when it comes to making your marketing stand out.

 

I’m incredibly lucky in that I currently head up the marketing and events division for a fantastically quirky and forward thinking furniture, carpet and panel hire company. My creative juices are not only left to flow freely, but pretty much extracted with the force of an industrial strength suction pump.

 

In fact, the staff recently took part in a photo shoot to produce our 2016 calendar for clients which features the MD donning a rainbow wig and a red nose as he prepares to nosedive into a paddling pool. Think Richard Branson meets Krusty the Clown.

 

Of course it has context, but it’s still a pretty ‘out there’ approach that could have gone down like a lead balloon. And, while I am delighted to say it’s been a hit with everyone who has received a copy, so what if it hadn’t?

 

At least we would have known for next time, and at least I can say we tried something different. I think it’s safe to say that all brands face the occasional hiccup along the way, but provided the act was carried out with integrity, and in the best interest of the business, it can always bounce back.

 

And even if you are resource light and stretched for time forcing you to play it safe, remember; if the marketing of an event, product or brand is a reflection of your passion for what you do then that will always shine through.

 

In the words of the American author Stanley Marcus: “The dollar bills the customer gets from tellers in four banks are the same. What is different are the tellers”.

 

Ultimately you, your imagination and your drive are the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal.

Helen Lowe
Posted by Helen Lowe
PopularComments
Twitter Facebook Google+ LinkedIn

Related Stories

Tim Banfield leaves ACC Liverpool for Doncaster Racecourse

Tim Banfield has left his post of commercial director at ACC Liverpool and undertaken a new challenge as executive director at Doncaster Racecourse and Exhibition Centre.

Reed launches SUMS alongside All-Energy 2017

The inaugural Smart Urban Mobility Solutions (SUMS) exhibition and conference will co-locate with All-Energy 2017, organiser Reed Exhibitions has announced.

Full Circle Events expands with new Midlands office

Full Circle Events has announced the opening of its new office in Coleshill, Warwickshire to support the on-going expansion of the business.

Others on EN

Opportunity knocks

Opportunity knocks

Paul Byrom, AEO chairman and MD at Upper Street Events on the formation and goals of the new AEO Development Board
The height of safe practice

The height of safe practice

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director on continuing to build a robust, safety-first, working culture in events and exhibitions.
All part of the plan

All part of the plan

Kevin Horler, project director of Vividfish Ltd, on the importance of creating an inbound marketing strategy for your next exhibition.

WATCH THE EN AWARDS 2016 HIGHLIGHTS


silverstream.tv

Most Read Stories

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry: Making the connection

Lourda Derry, director of Easyfairs UK addresses the science behind operations and the profile of our audiences.
Steve Monnington: The Dealmaker in March

Steve Monnington: The Dealmaker in March

Steve Monnington of Mayfield Media Strategies, runs the rule over the latest global exhibition deals.
Helen Lowe: Marketing déjà vu

Helen Lowe: Marketing déjà vu

Helen Lowe, events and marketing manager at Europa International, talks about the importance of keeping up with the creativity amidst the chaos.

Latest News

Marketing Manchester, Destination Bristol & more win VisitBritain funding

Marketing Manchester, Destination Bristol & more win VisitBritain funding

VisitBritain has announced successful applicants to its Event Support Programme.
Skiddle releases charity CHRISmas cards

Skiddle releases charity CHRISmas cards

Following the recent death from cancer of one of the Skiddle team, the company is raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support with specially created CHRISmas cards.
CEIR announces focus shift

CEIR announces focus shift

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) board of directors is realigning its resources to focus more clearly on producing industry-leading research on the exhibitions and events industry.

Latest Features

The big picture

The big picture

Imagine you could find all the photos taken at your event...well now you can, says Gaggletag founder Gideon Summerfield.
The talent of a nation

The talent of a nation

Following the launch of Connect16 this year, EN catches up with founder Nicola McGrane on experiencing the essence of Ireland.
EN30/30 Breakfast Club in November

EN30/30 Breakfast Club in November

Tasting the delicacies of ExCeL London’s River Cottage, members of the EN30 gather to discuss recruitment, working from home and the potential death of email.

Latest Galleries

ESSA 2016 Conference of Things

ESSA 2016 Conference of Things

This year’s ESSA Conference achieved a record attendance of delegates from across the events supplier industry, representing over 100 companies at Ricoh Arena, on 24 November.
The Prosthetics Event 2016

The Prosthetics Event 2016

Exhibition, education and shopping show The Prosthetics Event, returned to Conference Aston in Birmingham for the third consecutive year on 19 November.
World Travel Market London 2016

World Travel Market London 2016

World Travel Market (WTM) London 2016, which took place on 7-9 November at ExCeL London, celebrated its most successful show yet with a joint record attendance of 51,500.