For decades, The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) hosted a trade show for the unmanned vehicle and robotics industry. The show catered to defense contractors and government agencies.
In 2015, AUVSI rebranded the show to XPONENTIAL to align with the growth of unmanned vehicles and robotics in the private sector, and to capitalize on the growing commercial use of drones. Despite the rebrand, the event experienced a steady decline in attendance.
Ready for takeoff
AUVSI approached marketing firm mdg (a Freeman company) and tasked them with reversing the decline in the show’s attendance and revenue. AUVSI challenged mdg to create and execute a multi-channel marketing campaign to generate awareness among hard-to-reach vertical growth markets.
The goal was to generate sales conversations with prospective defense, government and private sector prospects that AUVSI didn’t have in its database
Ahead full throttle
mdg created a highly targeted marketing campaign that segmented creative and messaging by industry vertical, job role and domain (air, ground, maritime).
The campaign was multi-channel and featured organic and paid placements across digital and print channels.
The cornerstone of the marketing plan was an aggressive media outreach program in which mdg negotiated barter agreements in exchange for promotional exposure
The marketing outreach boosted attendance at XPONENTIAL 2017 by 30 percent over the previous year. The outreach generated 86 partnerships, 41 print ads, 55 banner placements, 36 eblasts, eight contributed content articles, and over 5 million impressions.