Cleaning Interactive: A new concept event to reconnect the industry and boost business

During COVID-19, businesses have had to adapt and find new ways to promote their products and services safely and effectively. Early on in the pandemic, long standing PR agency, Ceris Burns International came up with a fresh approach for a cleaning industry event. Cleaning Interactive was the first ever high-tech, virtual event for the professional cleaning industry. It was designed to enable the sector to safely and effectively engage with valuable new customers and showcase their innovations and encourage potential delegates to attend speaker sessions to gain valuable insight.

PR campaign requirement:

To build awareness of this new, ground-breaking virtual event, and position it as an essential industry go-to show for the cleaning industry and associated vertical sectors.

 

Pre-show activity:

  • Research and planning

The event drew on personal insight from cleaning industry experts who we contacted to understand their concerns and motivations, encourage involvement, help build messaging  and to tailor an event to help them boost business. Comprehensive PR, marketing and social media plans were developed incorporating objectives, key messaging, tactics, timescales, and measurement metrics.

The target sectors were UK and international cleaning and facilities management, healthcare, retail. hospitality and leisure, education, manufacturing, transport, and local and central government.

  • Tactics

In response to the pandemic, the campaign was developed and launched inside six weeks, kick-started by a social media campaign and email marketing.

To ensure the brand messaging went far and wide we developed a robust media and content strategy which included the following pre-show activity:

  • Build of show website and launch of social media channels – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube incorporating event hashtags and regular content
  • Creation of logo, eye-catching imagery and short video content showcasing benefits and to emulate the strength of the event – it’s high-tech polish and interactivity
  • Content and design of digital brochures, promoted via website and email marketing
  • Email marketing including tailored e-shots for different vertical sectors, social media advertising and sales navigator activity and website SEO activity
  • Series of press releases announcing ongoing show developments including key speakers, exhibitors and show features
  • Tailored articles pitched and provided to vertical press
  • Partnerships developed with media publications including headline media partnership with digital publication, Tomorrow’s Cleaning, sponsorship, and exhibitor packages
  • Launch of ‘Meet the Buyer’ competition culminating in live demos at the event
  • Marketing toolkits for exhibitors and speakers including email signature banners, email templates, and graphic cards optimised for social. Ongoing delegate engagement

 

Live show activity:

  • Creation of ‘pop-up’ messaging live on the show website to drive visitors to speaker and exhibitor areas and promote show partners and sponsors
  • Live show social media posting and sharing of exhibitor and speaker posts
  • Virtual exhibition stands incorporated 1-1 communication features including online chat and video and appointment booking
  • PDF and video repository of exhibitor information into a virtual ‘Swag bag’
  • Customer care contact with exhibitors and speakers

 

Results:

  • 1,352 event registrations and 1,083 attendees at speaker sessions
  • 70 countries represented including 47% international registrations
  • 210,000 reached by email marketing
  • Over 200,000 reached on Facebook, 69,573 on LinkedIn and 65,080 on Twitter
  • Press coverage in UK and international cleaning trade titles, facilities management, government, education, healthcare, care, hospitality, and recycling sectors
  • Published press coverage reached a potential audience of over 900,000 with an equivalent advertising rate of over £25,000.
  • 8k views of the Cleaning Interactive launch video on Twitter and 883 on the Cleaning YouTube channel, plus additional views on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram
  • Exhibitors provided with individual post-show report with personalised metrics showing number of visitors to their stand, number of their documents and videos viewed, and number of chats with delegates
  • Show content made available on demand, post-event for sixty days, thus extending the duration of the marketing opportunity.

Feedback from delegates and exhibitors has been favourable, as highlighted on the below example testimonials:

Mark Dewick, Vice President – UK & Ireland, Metsä Tissue said about exhibiting at Cleaning Interactive: “The show that is filling the COVID-19 exhibition void. The new way of selling, educating, networking. We are all learning the new normal together.”

 Delegate, Phil Smith, Sales Director at NIC Services Group said: “In a people industry, interaction is so vital and as face-to-face, in person meetings are sadly not currently on the agenda for most of us, this virtual opportunity is an absolute godsend. You have definitely reconnected the disconnected!”

Delegate Robert Duncan, Marketing Manager at Enviroclean said: “I found the Cleaning Interactive set-up really interesting and quite inspiring regarding how we can give people great experiences despite the challenges of the current working world!”

 Exhibitor, Purex® Global said: We’ve had a great last few days exhibiting at Cleaning Interactive 2020 gaining new connections, sharing top industry insights and advice, and presenting the chemical free cleaning innovation. This was the first high-tech virtual event for the professional cleaning industry, and let’s hope it’s the first of many. Big thanks to Ceris Burns and her team for the excellent organisation.”