Going into the show Autologic wanted to re-establish its presence in the market since its acquisition by Opus Group AB (publ) in 2017, showcasing its unification within the Opus brand.
Driving brand awareness and footfall
Neil commented “Our core objectives are to engage with new technicians and workshop owners who would benefit from our products and diagnostic support services. We find that Automechanika Birmingham is a great platform to achieve this. The event attracts our target audience, and being located in The Big UK Garage Event meant we benefited from the targeted campaign increasing our exposure to the garages before the show.
LePine went on to explain ‘With the launch of DrivePRO in 2017 (our latest diagnostics innovation), we saw the event as a great opportunity to showcase and provide demonstrations to both existing clients and new ones. The Autologic stand was busy and active all day and we think that having new products and live demonstrations drives visitors to our location and helps us to engage with them.
We decided that we wanted to provide physical on car demonstrations of the DrivePRO in action. For us, showing the market leading capabilities that the DrivePRO device has, was imperative to how we wanted our stand to operate. This gave us an interactive environment where visitors could see the benefits in action first-hand, and proved very successful for driving footfall to our stand.
Boosting interest from visitors
Early on in our planning we decided to run competitions at the show to get people talking about us and drive them to our stand. Our promotions included free daily prizes as well as an overall grand prize at the end of the show.
We advertised these and our activities predominantly on social media and e-campaigns. We also worked with the Automechanika Birmingham marketing team who promoted our competition & Give Away in their show preview, on their website, social media & also in the onsite show guide. By doing this we were able to reach a much higher audience. As part of The Big UK Garage Event campaign this meant our message was targeted at garage owners, workshops & end users.
We also made sure that all our print advertising on the lead up to the show highlighted our presence & what we were doing.
Marketing before, during and after
In addition to the pre-show marketing, it is really important to keep active on social media during the show. Our team used Facebook live videos to generate interest, capture our daily prize giveaways, interview the winners and create a case study with one of our customers & advocates. It’s important to remember that all of the hard work doesn’t stop on the last day of the show. Post event, Autologic capitalised on the all that was gained onsite by using the videos to create a ‘round up’ PR piece celebrating all the competition winners & happy customers at the stand.
Their internal promotions for the show began about 2.5 months prior to the show. The marketing team used a communications plan to ensure that stand promotions and activities were drip fed consistently on the lead up to the show. This kept them visible to customers and strengthened the messaging.
We fully utilised our social media assets and email campaign facilities – many of our followers use Facebook and we find it to be one of our most effective tools to communicate with the public. Everything that we used was cost free, yet extremely effective – it really is a missed opportunity if other exhibitors aren’t maximising social media.
Additional Expert Training
The Automechanika Birmingham team organise another event called the Exhibitor Day which is held in March before the event. Free for all exhibitors to attend, it was an invaluable day out of the office. It allowed us to recap on our knowledge of how we utilise the show to its fullest. We also knew that it would provide the motivation to push harder before and during the show, giving us a fresh prospective & ideas to use. In the break out networking sessions, exhibitors were given an opportunity to film a miniature clip about their company, stand and plans for the show., It was good fun and gave us some good material to use in our own marketing which was shared across Automechanika Birmingham’s social communications too.
Exhibitions like Automechanika Birmingham are a great way for us to meet and catch up with our existing customers – many of whom have been with us since our formation. Ensuring that our customers are beyond satisfied with our products and services is one of our missions, being on the ground meeting them allows us that personal 1-2-1 discussion time. The three-day event allows us to meet with more customers in three days than we would be able to normally. Due to our success in planning well in advance & utilising pre show communications to their fullest we are going to use a similar approach to the next show to ensure that it is even more successful. We hope to create a good level of show buzz at the future Automechanika Birmingham.