4 Low-Cost Hacks for Better Event Tabling

Conference marketing has become a bit uninspired over the years. Companies tabling at events will collect business cards for generic giveaways, ask people to sign up for generic email lists, and give away branded promotional items. It’s boring, and it’s not clear that it’s effective.

As I do more work in the event marketing space, I’m dying for ideas on how to make a tabling presence more effective. Here are a few I’m exploring right now:

1. Event or group-specific email

  • It’s easy to spin up a custom distribution list email address via Google Groups. So if you’re attending Money2020 in Las Vegas this year, you could make a 2018money2020@YOURCOMPANY.com email address for people who want a way to reach out and send specific event-related feedback, questions, or followup for connecting. Obviously most marketers will want to be the ones doing the lead capture and outreach, but if you’re looking for a quick way to cover your bases and give people a segmented way to reach out to you, this is a good one.

2. Event or group-specific email list

  • When you ask people to sign up for your list, you can ask them to sign up for a list specific to this particular event, this particular group (say, a meetup), or a particular region/city/state. The exclusivity of this approach will keep you from spamming them and will make them more likely to believe that you will send them relevant content and on a reasonable schedule.

3. Looping video / demos on a computer

  • Incorporating a digital element at an event table isn’t that hard. A little bit of extra effort, a power outlet, an extension cord, and good interactive products go a long way. You can use a monitor to show looping videos of what it’s like to work at your company (if you’re recruiting) or what your products look like in action (if you’re selling). You could even (as I’d like to do) install your company’s products on a machine with no sensitive information and let table visitors demo live and in person.

4. Special swag

  • You don’t have to have gobs of everything you might want to give away. Hold back your best sway behind the table (or put it out in limited quantities) and use it to confer a sense of specialness on particular people or conversations. If a conversation goes really well or someone is particularly excited, give them the better swag that isn’t available to the average passers-by. Make your big fans feel special.

What else have you done to get more out of event tabling? I’d love to get your thoughts in the comments!

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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