Trade fair and event organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East operates in a region where consumers are increasingly online. To get more visitors and a clearer view on the customer journey, it needed to move away from the traditional marketing methods that it had been using for over a decade. It decided that the inbound methodology was the answer and partnered with HubSpot. Since then, leads have increased by 47% and event attendance by 26%.
Increase in event attendance
Increase in leads
Increase in blog subscribers
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With some 2,300 employees at 28 locations worldwide, the company generates annual sales of over €647 million. In 2002, it established Messe Frankfurt Middle East. The Dubai-based subsidiary organises 13 trade fairs every year, nine in Dubai UAE and two in Saudi Arabia.
Established in 2002, Messe Frankfurt Middle East runs some of the largest exhibitions and trade fairs in the region, including Intersec, Beautyworld Middle East (ME), Light ME, Automechanika Jeddah and Dubai, Leatherworld ME and Prolight + Sound ME. But up until 2015, it was still using traditional marketing methods, such as radio advertising and direct mail, to attract attendees.
“We noticed a flatlining in terms of visitor acquisition,” explains Richard McKeon, head of digital marketing with Messe Frankfurt ME. “We were behind the curve in terms of what we were doing digitally. Our online activity consisted of our website and the mass emails we sent out, we didn’t have blogs or do any social media work. We knew that something needed to change.”
The company set up a new digital division, headed by Richard, who decided to go all-in with the inbound methodology. To do this, he needed a marketing automation solution that would give him a full view on the customer journey, from where they came from to how they interacted with the site.
“I was already in the funnel with HubSpot. I was an avid reader of its ebooks and content, and over the years it had come more and more onto my radar. We did consider other solutions, such as Marketo, Pardot, Eloqua and Wishpond, but I knew that the HubSpot software would be the best fit for us. It’s all-in-one nature and the support that we would receive made it the only choice.”
Head of Digital Marketing
Messe Frankfurt Middle East
Messe Frankfurt ME set up the HubSpot software on several of its web portals, adding Landing Pages for its content, with Smart Calls-to-Action (CTAs) and Forms to kick-start the contact capture process. As one of its primary goals was visitor acquisition, it started to use the Blog App for blogging and the Social Inbox to generate interest for its posts.
Richard also introduced Workflows to nurture new leads through the marketing funnel – they are now automatically sent personalised Emails at key points along their journey.
“We’ve really noticed a change. With our Workflow emails, we’re seeing high open, click-through and download rates. We’ve been able to show our directors the tangible benefits of providing value in terms of content.”
The HubSpot software has improved the company’s ability to close its marketing loop. With the Marketing Analytics dashboard, it has a full view on the website visitor’s journey. It can tell where they originated from – for example, Facebook or LinkedIn – and the path they take through the website until they pre-register for an exhibition. Then, when they turn up on the day, their attendance can be directly attributed to marketing activities.
Messe Frankfurt ME opted for HubSpot Premier Services, which gives them access to a HubSpot inbound consultant, who is fully dedicated to helping them to succeed and reach their goals.
“The support from Premier Services team has been absolutely exceptional. The knowledge and time that they dedicate to our company has been extremely helpful in guiding us through our inbound learning process.
- Richard McKeon
Since partnering with HubSpot, Messe Frankfurt ME has achieved some great results, with four portals seeing dramatic increases in visitor numbers and leads.
“We’ve seen a 100% increase in blog subscribers and 47% increase in new leads. Most importantly, Messe Frankfurt ME has also seen attendee numbers to its exhibitions rise significantly.”
“With Beautyworld, we were getting a 10% rise each year before we implemented the HubSpot software. Last year, that jumped to 26%.
Richard has big plans for the company’s inbound future – for example, he is currently working with several influential bloggers to build brand awareness. He puts HubSpot tracking codes on their websites, so he can track the visitors that they generate for Messe Frankfurt ME portals.
He would recommend the HubSpot software to any other business that is considering transitioning to inbound.
“The support from Premier Services, product and methodology combined are an exceptional package.”
- Richard McKeon
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