Seven tips for successfully inviting guests
Advice on how to send out invitations so that your guests are motivated to drop by your booth.
Invitations can be your key to a successful book fair. So it’s worth putting some thought into how you send out your invitations.
Of course, you can send out ticket links or codes directly from the Exhibitor Ticket Portal, as your business partners are used to. But you can also generate ticket codes and send these as personalised and individual presents to friends, partners and customers. Who can say no to an invitation to one of the world's most colourful and diverse cultural fairs? The following tips will help you ensure that your response rate increases even more.
1. Tried & tested for centuries: the hand-written message
Everything is digitised – why not stand out with a hand-written message, a folding card or postcard with an integrated ticket code? It’s much more personal than a standard e-mail and is the oldest known form in an industry that works with texts and paper in all variations. Use your pen and surprise your guests – they will thank you for it. Obviously, if you are sending hundreds of invitations, you probably won’t have the time to write each one by hand. However, you might consider working with a professional partner to develop elegant print invitations. And you can still always enter the code by hand. Your contacts probably receive all sorts of e-mails and letters in the run-up to the book fair. But an elegant mailing, beautifully designed and printed on high-grade paper, is guaranteed to set you apart from the crowd.
The digital approach may sometimes be better and quicker. If you are in touch with your customers via WhatsApp, you can use it to send a ticket code. If that is your standard communication channel with them, use it! For people that you have not yet contacted via WhatsApp, you first should make sure that you are in compliance with data protection regulations.
3. Social media in general: LinkedIn, XING, Facebook
Why not send your relevant contacts an invitation via a social network? That will certainly attract attention, since a ticket for the book fair is not something you are likely to receive every day on Facebook. Professional networks like LinkedIn and XING have the advantage that you can easily reach new contacts along with your existing ones. The ticket code is the perfect attention-grabber to start a dialogue – even if you are not personally acquainted. Just give a try, it cannot hurt.
If your company does not yet have an Instagram account, then this would be a good time to open one – because it’s literally teeming with influencers as well as the next generation of readers and customers. You can reach them with a small and elegant Instagram campaign. Raffle off some entry tickets to everyone who marks a friend in the comments. That is a simple but effective mechanism that will not only bring your account new followers, but also draw interesting new contacts to your booth.
5. Think out of the box
What will your business look like in five years? What part will digitisation play? Can you think of new contacts who might be interested in you then? Today is the time to invite them and establish contacts that can really pay off in future. Where can you find these contacts? You can start by looking in earnest on LinkedIn and XING. Or visit another trade fair with some relevance to your business – any contact can someday become relevant. Follow your gut instinct and when you hand your business cards to any new contacts who appeal to you, include a card with a ticket code. This will set the stage for a promising follow-up meeting.
6. Highlight the Book Fair’s USPs
Perhaps your guest has never been to the Frankfurter Buchmesse and doesn't really know what to expect there. Briefly describe some of the highlights that are awaiting them – at your booth and at the book fair, in general. Be specific and consider which parts of the overall program would be of the greatest interest for each individual guest. Experiencing Jo Nesbø at the Bookfest, for example, or immersing themselves into the colourful world of cosplay or one of the many performances on the Agora, the central square of the Book Fair? With providers like MailChimp, Newsletter2go or HubSpot, you can easily create newsletter campaigns targeting your different customer groups.
7. Landing page
With a small and quickly set-up microsite, created with Squarespace or Wix, for example, you will ensure visual attention and good response rates. You can quickly develop a campaign on Instagram or LinkedIn to win over interesting new contacts. It’s worth a try. You’ll see, trade visitor tickets are particularly in demand – they offer people outside the industry the chance to get a new and immersive impression of the world of literature.
Sending an invitation pays off.
Take advantage of the invitation to make new contacts and to discover new business opportunities.