The HR Tech Conference and Exposition starts in 15 calendar days.  If you’re a tech or service vendor of any size in this Human Capital Management Market, it’s one of the show’s on the “must” list.

There are a few things happening because of this:

  • We’ll see a lot of vendor announcements in the next 2 weeks… all in the interest of generating buzz leading into the show.
  • Email marketing activity will be persistent.
  • Sales phone calls are now starting and ending with, “will you or anyone from your firm be at HR Tech in Vegas?”.
  • Targeted Blogging and Social Media activity is heating up already.
There are a few things generally not happening at the same time:
  • Most of the announcements aren’t integrated into other activities leading into the show.  The messaging used in the announcements won’t be in sync with what I hear on the floor from the vendors, either.
  • Vendors have little in place to measure the buzz generated by their announcements.
  • Email marketing will have iPads and other fancy offers, intended to get more feet to the trade show booth, but do little to differentiate  that vendor from the 200 others competing for mind-share.
  • Blogging and Social Media activity give the Vendors a good feeling about themselves.  Especially if they are paying (gasp!) a thought leader to help with buzz.  However, again they have little in place to measure.
This generally results in a lot of confusion for the buyers at, or following, the show.  But HR Tech is just a moment in time.  This is also reflective of the messaging disconnect between Branding/PR, Marketing Execution, Sales, and even the Service organization.
Along with the basic tactical goals at any show – you know:  swipe as many badges as possible, get as many business cards, qualify opportunities, educate prospects and customers…. You should be using a show like this to test and measure messaging and tactics with a targeted buyer audience.   This can be done on a grand, or small-scale.  Do the HCM buyers a favor though, if you don’t have a plan … and don’t have everyone on the same page – just save your marketing dollars, show up in the booth on time, and just wait for someone to talk to.  Spend those marketing dollars after the show with an integrated plan to measure your post-show execution.