InGo Interviews Richard Brook, Divisional Marketing Director at Informa, About Key Marketing Challenges In the Event Industry

Inside Informa

Informa Exhibitions, the Global Exhibitions Division of Informa PLC, is mid-way through its Marketing Transformation Program. The Program is driven by the requirement to engage with customers, buy-side and sell-side, via channels appropriate to them rather than convenient for the organizer, with targeted, personalized content. Alongside the deployment of new marketing applications across its global business to help achieve the aim, Rich Brook, Informa’s SVP Marketing, turned to InGo to help maximize reach and optimize the customer journey.

Together, Informa Exhibitions and InGo will create Advocates for individual events, spreading their excitement about the show across their social media networks, and inviting their contacts to join them at the event. This word-of-mouth marketing to intelligently targeted friends and colleagues results in social media buzz before the event, growth in new audience members, and a highly social, engaged group of attendees at the event.

Joe Marshall, Dir. of Product and Marketing, InGo

Joe Marshall, Dir. of Product and Marketing, InGo


Joe: Rich, what attracted you to the InGo Solution?

Rich: InGo presents a unique way to reach audience members. By integrating the solution contextually in the workflow, we widen our ability to reach members of each show’s distinct community through a platform that they trust, are comfortable with and have themselves chosen. We benefit further as attendees in turn inform and engage friends and colleagues in their networks. As Informa Exhibitions becomes a market maker, engaging communities not just on show days, but year-round, InGo enables the building of both relationships and trust. We are excited to be using InGo company wide.

Joe: What do you think makes your events so popular in the many industries you serve? 

Rich: With 200 trade and consumer exhibitions annually, Informa Exhibitions is a global market leader in such end markets as Beauty, Construction & Real Estate, Design, Life Sciences, Maritime, Health & Nutrition and Pop Culture. We pride ourselves on putting the customer front and center of everything we do. Even as the third biggest commercial exhibitions organizer in the world, we remain closely connected to the markets we serve and are able to react quickly and effectively to the needs of those sectors. InGo is a valuable tool for us in doing so.

Joe: What is your biggest event marketing challenge?

Rich: We live in a rapidly evolving world where the emphasis is on us to understand how a customer wishes to be engaged and to act on that knowledge. Get it wrong and we break a vital bond that time and effort has nurtured. Get it wrong and we let the customer down. Getting it right is a balance between awareness of advances in technology and selecting the right tools that really offer value to the customer. The only way to evaluate this is the effective use of data and analytics. Shifting the marketer thought process from opinion-driven decision making to data-driven decision making so that ultimately we can do more of what works, and less of what doesn’t.

Joe: Why do you like using InGo?

Rich: As mentioned previously, InGo allows us to build a community around our events. People spend a considerable amount of time on social media because it’s where their trust-bank exists. This trust-bank is the circle of friends, colleagues and contacts they trust in various industries. With the increase in noise and marketing around any major event, reaching our audience in an impactful and emotional way drives us to better promote our events to the people we don’t know yet who would benefit from attending; that is, those in the untapped trust-bank of friends.

Joe: How do you measure your success?

Rich: The number of InGo Advocates and Network Reach are great indicators but the primary measure of success is how many attendees register as a result of InGo and ultimately how many attend the event.

Joe: What single piece of advice would you give other event marketers?

Rich: Make sure you optimize the end to end analysis from first touch to onsite attendance so that you can work out the real ROI.

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Informa Exhibitions will be placing InGo on numerous events. Keep an eye out for Informa Exhibitions events powered by InGo.