MARCH 11, 2020

Trade shows can be stressful at the best of times.

Regular exhibitors will know just how much must go into each and every exhibition, from budget management to utilising available space in the best way, commissioning and activating your stand, directing your team and much more besides.

And that’s even before you and your team must work to attract footfall on the day in a bid to generate leads and promote the business.

Don’t get us wrong; we love exhibiting at trade shows and events! We also love working with clients to take a lot of that stress from their shoulders, to create, manage and activate their trade spaces.

Our work on The Division 2 stands out. Working with Ubisoft, we created a phenomenal stand and booth for the game at E3 2019; the booth was made to look like the Oval Office of the White House, under siege in the game.

Take a look at our other live activations and how we helped our clients here!

Did you know, though, that there can be better and more cost-effective solutions to attract footfall and generate leads at trade events and exhibitions?

We’re talking about satellite events; branded events that take place away from the exhibition centre that attract attention and provide a more intimate and fun experience than you could provide at a conference centre.

Bring the crowd to you with a branded satellite event

The World of Warcraft: Legion café activation is a great example of this. By investing their budget turning a disused office space into a gaming café, close to Gamescom in Germany in 2016, Blizzard Entertainment was able to offer a full-scale experiential experience to fans which included photo booths, competitions, green screens and more. Targeted, event-specific advertisements close to the conference centre also helped direct traffic there.

It was an event away from the event, and allowed Blizzard to speak to the audience that mattered to them most.

ASUS also did something similar with their Republic of Gamers truck; a fully customised and branded big rig decked out with their latest gaming gear and kit. The ASUS truck was parked close to specialised gaming and trade events, to capture footfall and allow fans to play the latest games first-hand on their specialist gaming hardware. The investment draw in crowds, and could work out as more cost-effective than paying premiums on space at trade shows.

ASUS’ Republic of Gamers brand also makes excellent use of pop-up events, with their ‘shop within a shop’ at Paris’s Chatelet les Halles train station drawing in footfall to experience their technology first-hand (and make a purchase if they so wish).

A different kind of big and fancy…

Satellite events can also be a great way to capture the attention of influencers and the press. Devolver Digital have been using satellite events for years outside of E3, with the press dubbing their efforts ‘the E3 anti-conference’.

Named ‘The Big Fancy Press Conference’, they’ve previously hired trailers and tents outside the E3 conference hall to show off their games. The story has, over time, gone on to include that their methods are in response to ‘what E3 has become’, but it’s also a clever way to market themselves and save on their budget.

Space can be a premium whenever there’s a trade event the size of E3 is on, and that space can come with a hefty price tag, especially for events centred around the entertainment industry.

They typically last a few days, too, and are usually held in prominent cities. With that and other factors in mind, it stands to reason that footfall won’t always be concentrated at the trade event, and will participate in some degree of sightseeing.

It can therefore be more cost-effective to put some of your budget toward taking over a local café or other space close to the conference centre. It gives you more space to play with as well as being kinder to the budget, and lets you provide an experience to your fans and footfall that isn’t possible at confined event spaces.

Whether you host from a tent, an airstream, an RV, empty retail space or a hotel suite, approaching a satellite event in the right way can give you more bang for your buck, attract more targeted footfall, and can be much easier to activate – especially for smaller developers and publishers.

Find out more about the amazing brand benefits of investing in a specialist satellite event, and how to deliver an incredible experiential experience by talking to TAKEOFF team today!