I can’t tell you how many times I have spoken to meeting planners who are surprised that exhibitors didn’t take advantage of certain sponsorship offerings, or that they are unaware of specifics regarding schedules, etc. I also can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard exhibitors admit that they don’t read the emails that come from meeting organizers.

I have to admit that in the past, after I had registered to exhibit at a meeting, there were a lot of emails from the meeting organizers I didn’t read either. When you have exhibitors who attend your meeting year after year, the general consensus is that it’s going to be: copy/paste (especially if the meeting is at the same venue).

Another reason I believe exhibitors do not engage heavily in emails from meetings is… they are toooooo looooooong.

I totally understand wanting to put the totality of exhibitor information into a single email/document that vendors can save and refer to when they have questions. The main issue with these all-in-one emails is AT FIRST GLANCE, they are very overwhelming. Copy-heavy emails result in deleted emails.

I am not recommending you completely eliminate those messages. Instead, I am recommending some different ways to format them, as well as ways to send.

ONE: less bold formatting
So many of these emails have a most of the content bolded. If the majority of the text is emphasized by bold lettering, then really none of it is bolded. Additionally, this is strenuous on the eye and can cause a reader to close.

TWO: less red and highlighted text.
The same principle of the bolding applies here.

THREE: use more section headers
Exhibitors want to find specific information and it is frustrating to sift through several paragraphs that don’t start with a clear subheading (i.e. HALL HOURS; SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS; ELECTRICITY; ATTENDEE LIST; SPONSORSHIPS; MEALS, etc).

FOUR: more single-point emails
Many organizations feel they send too many emails; but this is usually not seen as an issue as long as the emails are short, sweet, and easy to absorb. Slice up your long email and send shorter, individual emails with single-section details only.

FIVE: specific subject lines
Subject lines tend to be a bit to general (i.e. Exhibitor Details for Meeting X). If I am a repeat exhibitor, I am not inclined to open the email because I feel like I know the ropes. Use specific subject lines to tell me what new information is enclosed and critical for my event success.

After reviewing these quick tips, I think the biggest take-away would be to send each email as if everyone is a return exhibitor. I say this because I am circling back to my earlier point – repeat exhibitors simply copy and paste. You have to make it extremely clear that there are new details to acknowledge and – most importantly – unique sponsorship opportunities.

Therefore, it is imperative to use:
Extremely clear subject lines that emphasize new information
Extremely short emails that don’t take long to digest
Thoughts? Questions? Email Me!
Sarah Breymeier: beheard@podiatrymeetings.com

-Sarah Breymeier