Digital marketer upset by lack of digital marketing at Ecobuild – no surprise there then! Yes, it was green, seriously green in fact, but from where I was standing it was more ‘green behind the ears’.
Sure, there was some fantastic energy saving, efficiency driven, eco-friendly, sustainable products and services on show – and some great ‘looking’ stands too. In that respect and from an eco-building product and discussion perspective the event no doubt delivered – other more knowledgeable people than me can debate that.
So, my problem is?
Well, what disappointed is the fact that the majority – and yes, there were some exceptions – of these forward-thinking companies still rely (in a marketing sense) far too heavily on paper-based printed collateral to reinforce their messages. Rack after rack of glossy brochures, flimsy leaflets, flyers, tickets and plastic bags. The traditional, safe, short-lived (or is that short life) and ineffective event literature boxes were ‘ticked’ and rolled out, most likely all at the last minute and with little strategic thought.
Maybe I expect too much; what I expected to see was banks of plasma screens blowing away the Ecobuild massive with efficiency examples via digital calculators. Savvy, well thought out interactive applications teasing megabytes of contact information from the info hungry punters. I expected to see visitors lining up to input their details into touch screen technology and other interactive displays spilling out the product efficiencies and money savings and busily backing up their product value propositions. But it just didn’t happen.
For me one of the biggest missed opportunities was Capita Symonds‘ hollowed out, over-sized, hedge-cum-cinema in the middle of the event hall that had the footfall by the bucket load. And while it swallowed up the curious visitors through one entrance, it then, more often than not, spat them straight back out again, mostly none the wiser! Well, that was my experience anyway. Still, at least it looked good! And I am talking about it so in that sense maybe it worked?
But you know what? I wanted to know more, I wanted to be kept in touch, I wanted to get involved and interact with the stands, I was there to be sold to by some of the most innovative firms in the construction industry, I want to ‘be part of it’ in a digital sense. I wasn’t allowed.
For me an exhibitor should go with a strategy. A strategy for proving the benefit, lead generation and follow up. A digital marketing strategy is key to the success of these sorts of events, for any event in fact, and unfortunately there wasn’t a great deal of that on show here.