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20 Sep 2023



By Chloe Monina, marketing director for Trades Exhibitions and new AEO marketing working group chair


The AEO has been uniting the exhibition industry for over 100 years, providing invaluable networking opportunities and content to upskill and grow. After attending numerous working groups in the past, I’m pleased that a marketing group has been launched to connect senior marketers to discuss the challenges we are facing, share ideas and build a network of peers that we can turn to for advice and support. 

Marketing is a core function of any exhibition business and is a constantly evolving beast because of technology. Marketing is responsible for delivering the attendance, lead generation for supporting sales and keeping their digital skills up to date to facilitate success for both.

Over the past 10 years we’ve seen a huge rise in the technology and tools available to marketers to boost registration, streamline processes, offer social sharing and now even creating content for us. With so much choice on the market, it’s great to hear tried and tested opinions and in our first zoom meeting, software recommendations were shared to help resolve some of the challenges including tracking team’s workload and efficiency during tight deadlines and periods of high workloads. 

Reporting on performance and activity – how much to share and how often to communicate was discussed. Around the ‘zoom’ table attendees shared ideas on how to complete post-event reports, motivating and making team members accountable, setting objectives and defining strategies to ensure you utilise learnings for future campaigns and even using registration systems that integrate with AI tools for more efficient insights into data. 

Networking and making new contacts were key incentives for individuals to join the group and we had attendees from smaller independent businesses to large corporate organisations keen to build their network. The AEO offers opportunities throughout the year to meet more of the exhibition community, but access to a direct marketing group on a regular basis will be hugely beneficial to its members. 

The next meeting will focus on the use of AI, how we can integrate processes and tools within our business to automate tasks, improve efficiency and provide more insight into our campaigns and data. I’m looking forward to hearing from the group on what they’ve implemented, the successes, the pain points, and the impact it’s had on their businesses. It was highlighted that it’s not always a simple solution to adopt a new process, it takes time to onboard, train the team and measure performance to assess whether you are able to reap the rewards. 

A problem shared is a problem potentially solved by AI! But it still needs a marketer at the helm. 

The marketing group is the newest of AEO’s 18 working groups complementing other function-led groups including sales, operations, finance.