Trade shows are an important part of any successful marketing strategy. It’s an opportunity to stand out in an environment where all your competitor peers are present … and where a spark of creativity can make all the difference in winning the battle for positive impressions, increased booth attendance and lead generation and – ultimately – transforming prospects into satisfied customers.
At State Street Global Advisors, Jocelyn Ross-Goldberg is Vice President and Senior Event Manager, responsible for more than 20 trade shows each year. She’s worked with Corporate Dimensions for nearly a decade. Jocelyn shared her story with CDL.
CDL: Jocelyn, thank you for joining us. Tell us about State Street Global Advisors.
JOCELYN ROSS-GOLDBERG: SSGA is the investment management arm of State Street Corporation – we’re a large group within a huge corporation. We provide research-driven investment guidance to institutions and financial professionals to help them reach their objectives. In addition to providing solutions, State Street offers a range of funds designed to meet the specific needs of our clients. Altogether we have over $2.5 trillion of assets under management.
CDL: How do trade shows fit into your overall marketing strategy?
JOCELYN ROSS-GOLDBERG: SSGA and all of our competitors are vying for the customer’s attention. People are bombarded with information. The challenge: is how do you stand out?
A trade show is a unique environment. All your customers and prospects are there, and so are all your competitors. It’s a great opportunity to strengthen existing relationships and create new ones, but you need to stand out … you need to shine!
CDL: How do you decide which trade shows to attend?
JOCELYN ROSS-GOLDBERG: SSGA participates in a number of trade shows, as well as branded events. Every year in our planning process we look at our track record in past events. What was the cost? What was the benefit? How can we improve? We work very closely with our internal teams to provide maximum return on our total investment.
Our major trade show each year is the Association of Financial Professionals conference. We see it as an opportunity to demonstrate our thought leadership in the industry, and we put together a fully integrated strategy involving main stage speaking opportunities, sponsoring seminars, hosting receptions … and, of course, our trade show booth – which ties everything together.
CDL: How did you come to work with CDL?
JOCELYN ROSS-GOLDBERG: About ten years ago we consolidated trade show responsibilities in the Marketing Department. We were using multiple vendors, and we were overwhelmed by the detail. Everything was a big blur.
Participating in a trade show is a complex process involving a huge number of variables and many different disciplines. There’s designing the booth itself … the messaging and graphic design and production … shipping to the venue … and then all the logistics of construction onsite and coordination with the event producer and trades. Then there’s storing the booth between shows, keeping track of inventory, updating branding and messaging, and making repairs. It’s awesomely complicated and prone to human error, and a single error can have drastic consequences.
Before, we were trying to manage all those variables ourselves, and the time we spent on the mechanics took away from the time we needed to be spending on messaging and coordinating our participation internally. Corporate Dimensions provided a turnkey solution.
CDL: What does having a “turnkey solution” mean to you?
JOCELYN ROSS-GOLDBERG: CDL is our trade show partner. They are like an extension of our own organization. I don’t need to worry about all the logistics. CDL takes care of it all. I can concentrate on what I need to do to carry our message.
Natalie McKinney (Exhibit and Trade Show Manager for CDL) is my star. I think she reads my mind. We talk on the phone every week, and she gives me an update on all our exhibit properties. Fabrication, production, shipping, repairs … everything. I trust her completely, because her performance is flawless.
If there’s a problem onsite, Natalie knows who to call to fix it. I don’t need to worry about it. It’s handled.
Natalie McKinney (Exhibit and Trade Show Manager for CDL) is my star. I think she reads my mind. We talk on the phone every week, and she gives me an update on all our exhibit properties. Fabrication, production, shipping, repairs … everything. I trust her completely, because her performance is flawless. If there’s a problem onsite, Natalie knows who to call to fix it. I don’t need to worry about it. It’s handled.
CDL: Beyond logistics, how does CDL add value?
JOCELYN ROSS-GOLDBERG: CDL has the experience of working with many exhibit and trade show clients. We benefit in many ways.
First, CDL has relationships with virtually all the service providers in the industry. They know all the most recent technological innovations, and they keep us up to date and “ahead of the curve.”
Second, CDL works with trade shows every day. They advise us, for example, on the most advantageous position for our booth in order to achieve maximum traffic. Natalie shows me how we can change a font or type size or color to make our message really stand out.
I’m not dealing with a vendor, I’m working with a professional and a partner whose judgments I value and need. Together, we’re in it to win it!