This year’s New York ICSC Deal Making just finished, and it was a jam packed two days with lots of great conversations and new relationships forged for both us and our clients.The real work of follow up begins now! I learn something new everytime I attend (nearly seven years and counting!) and this year was no different. So here is my run down of what I took away from the show…
On that note I enjoyed my conversation with Keith Sellers of the Washington DC Economic Partnership. They have been attending ICSC for over a decade, and graduated from a shared booth with a utility company to a 5,000+ sf booth in underwritten in part by the local developers. Their approach is so incredibly strategic and thoughtful, and I enjoyed hearing Keith talk about how far they had come.
Social media DURING the show is important. You have to treat your booth or kiosk as a might a retail store. If you don’t market it, you are missing opportunities to connect with potential customers. Same goes for a trade show. The good news is that ICSC helps with this. They had a hashtag (#NYnDM) and twitter handle (@ICSC) and would retweet things that were tweeted their way. We made sure to utilize this marketing support and it was a great way to drive traffic to the P3 pavilion and to individual booths.
A marketing brochure may not be the right approach for your district. To support our client’s outreach, part of our task included developing new marketing material for them. In the past, their typical marketing strategy was a multi-page brochure with lots of words and tables of data. We knew from our work in the industry that marketing strategies are changing quickly, and that the multi-page brochure, while still making the rounds, can be hard to share digitally and doesn’t always come across the same way when viewed on a computer. So we made a suggestion to do something a little different but much more in line with where the industry is going when it comes to marketing retail and site opportunities. Increasingly, developers and brokers are creating marketing decks – basically short slide shows that can be printed and distributed, but are more likely to be viewed and distributed digitally. They rely less on verbage (that very few read anyway) and more on great info graphics to make a case. They are more straightforward to understand, can be used to tell a story, easier to refine, and easier mix and match on demand. Our client carried these around in bound booklets for reference, and then told the contacts they made that they would forward them the material after the conference. This strategy is a great way to continue contact and an excuse to follow up afterwards – which is the key to success. What I also found was that the decks were a good aide in keeping the presenter on message. And after the pitch, but during the meeting, they were easier to use. You could quickly go back to any slide that communicates the point you want to reinforce.
Here are some more pics for fun.
|I felt like Oprah interviewing Mary Reda and Jim Diego at the #P3retail booth!|
|Baltimore Downtown Partnership has a great location.|
|Being interviewed by Cindy Stewart of ICSC, together with Jason Claunch of Catalyst Commercial|