This is the latest in a series about how our team at BHN Rewards uses digital rewards and our own platform to boost our engagement among prospects and customers.
For us at BHN Rewards, it makes complete sense that we would use digital incentives in all our own marketing efforts, but some use cases may not seem so intuitive for other businesses. Take live events, for instance: Many marketing and sales leaders would never think to use virtual gift cards to increase booth traffic, and even if they did, they may not understand how to do it most effectively.
Let us help! Using digital rewards at trade shows over the years has given us quite a bit of expertise. And since events are coming back in earnest in 2023, it’s time to raise the bar on engaging attendees and attracting leads.
Here are three things we’ve learned about offering virtual gift cards to get more booth visitors at in-person events.
When you’re distributing digital incentives at a trade show, it kind of ruins the message if you collect email addresses on a piece of paper and deliver the rewards at the end of the day. Half the appeal of going digital is the immediacy! Give tablets to the sales reps working your booth, and make sure your BHN Rewards campaign is set up so booth visitors receive their virtual gift cards on the spot. We used our Marketo integration and created a very simple form to use on the tablets, allowing guests to type in their email, which then triggered the reward delivery. Bonus: You’ll have already collected the contact information for your new lead and added it to your database directly, without having to rely on a badge click or a list from the event hosts after the fact.
Yes, you’re distributing rewards digitally, but that doesn’t change the fact that the point of trade shows and conferences is making real-world, in-person connections. There are any number of ways to use the offering of a virtual gift card as a jumping-off point. In fact, it’s better than swag for engagement, because while it’s easy for someone to just grab a water bottle and walk away, digital rewards require booth visitors to talk to someone to submit their email address. Before you ask for that, though, start a conversation! Even if they aren’t an ideal prospect for your business, you may learn something about your audience or their needs.
Another way to more than an email address from your booth visitors is to offer the digital reward at the end of a survey. Let your sales reps cue up the survey on their tablets and ask for responses. Just make sure to keep it short, since you’ll be expecting guests to fill it out then and there, while they’re standing at your booth. After the event, you’ll be able to take the survey responses back to your team, so they’ll have more concrete insights to go by, rather than just anecdotal evidence about individual conversations.
While the “digital-first” instinct in us is strong, we also realize that among certain audiences, some people will always be attracted to physical swag, especially after the long break from in-person events during the pandemic. That’s why, at a recent event, we incorporated both branded items and virtual gift cards using a prize wheel. Booth visitors could spin to determine whether they would receive a water bottle, a pen, a ring light, or a $5, $10, or $15 digital reward.
Want more ways to use BHN Rewards’ virtual gift cards during your next live event? Read our case study with Simplifeye to find out how they set up an onsite scavenger hunt in just a few days!