Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.
Central Entertainment Group (CEG), one of the top celebrity management & talent agencies in the country, has been connecting celebrities with brands for over 20 years. “We have seen the convention industry explode over the past 3 years,” said Michael Schweiger of CEG. With the shift to digital advertising, brands have found an affordable way to connect. Schweiger goes on to say how the use of celebrity influencers has added a new sales tool that has greatly increased the traffic and engagement for their clients.
The trade show industry is constantly exploring ways to enhance an deliver brand awareness. Budget spends on booths and presentation to capture eyeballs is becoming much more competitive. Small and medium brands are fighting for premium floor placement, and the retention of clients are a key challenge. Organizers are endlessly trying to come up with new and exciting ideas to make their future shows more successful than their previous ones.
The competition to attract and engage is the premier focus on the convention floor. Imagine RJ Mitte or Giancarlo Esposito from AMC’s Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning show “Breaking Bad” signing autographs at your main stage. Amanda Stanton & JoJo Fletcher from ABC’s “The Bachelor/The Bachelorette” taking photos with attendees at your bridal show. Perhaps Teresa Giudice & Melissa Gorga from the Bravo’s “Real Housewives” at your Womens Expo. Ryan Hurst from FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” or WWE Legend Goldberg meeting clients at your Motorcycle or Hot Rod convention. Television and musical stars Victoria Justice or the boys from Nickelodeon’s “Big Time Rush” at the Kid’s & Family expos.
Attaching the right celebrity to an event or brand not only brings excitement, but also drives attendance increasing the visibility of the event to the public and press via the celebrity’s social media outlets. It reinforces the event and brand image as a major player in the field. Utilizing the celebrity appearance at an event, combined with the social media reach of the celebrity, the event now takes on a much wider appeal for the brand and those in attendance. The brand is now exposed to the combined social media reach of all those who participate posting selfies across their own social media platforms and returning home with an enhanced experience.
As we look forward to 2018, the use of influencer marketing is affecting all levels of digital advertising. The use of celebrity participation will dramatically increase the trade show industry’s ability to connect with clients and attendees. With affordable access to celebrities provided by companies such as CEG, the industry has added an exciting new tool.