Skip to main content

An Interview With Rizco’s Vice President of Sales, Jill Nappi

Event marketing and brand visibility are critical for stimulating brand awareness, especially for B2B businesses. Many B2B marketers also prefer in-person networking. According to Statista, more than half of surveyed B2B marketers express a clear preference for attending in-person events over their virtual or hybrid counterparts.

Vice President of Sales Jill Nappi is no stranger to the benefits of brand visibility and often serves as the “face” of Rizco at events. Throughout her ten years with Rizco, she has cultivated connections with some of the most trusted names in business in the New Jersey area, some of whom have become Rizco clients. We recently chatted with Jill about event networking and how companies can get the most out of their sponsorships and attendance.

1. What are some essential factors businesses should consider when attending trade shows to increase brand visibility?

JN: I firmly believe that you really only get one opportunity to make a first impression. So, when attending trade shows or events, your business’ brand must be clean, readable, visually pleasing, and reflect your current brand. This goes for both sponsors and attendees.

Another thing to remember is that while sponsorship of an event can be costly, it can also help significantly increase brand visibility by getting your name out there, especially for new brands or those who have recently rebranded.

2. Have you seen any presentation trends in the industry lately?

JN: At trade shows, I’m seeing more brands opt to showcase a video at their booths along with giving out brochures or printed collateral. While printed materials help give event-goers something tangible to take home to read more about your service offerings and keep your brand top-of-mind, video can help to attract attendees, storytell, and increase the overall brand experience. It can be cost-effective, too.

3. How can a business determine if sponsoring an event is worth their funds and resources?

JN: Sponsoring an event is truly a personal decision based on the expectation for the funds invested. Typically, event sponsorship allows your company’s brand to be featured in supplied marketing materials, notifications, and information about the event, but it is tough to measure the success of that investment.

However, you can make your efforts measurable with contests that utilize a strong call-to-action (CTA), a trackable QR code, or unique URLs or UTMs (Urchin Tracking Module) that allow you to see how many clicks or visitors your sponsorship materials generated. As a sponsor, you should also ask for a contact list of attendees. That way, you know who received your messages, and you can determine if there’s potential for connections. If you decide to make your materials more actionable, ensure that all pieces have cohesive branding and you have a plan to follow up with your contacts promptly.

4. What are some best practices for 2024 event networking?

JN: The past few years have seen similar trends due to the increased in-person attendance following the pandemic. In addition to their digital presence, many businesses are looking for ways to get involved. Here are some trends I’ve seen and predict will remain relevant this year and beyond:

  • Join relevant groups and chambers in your area that relate to your business and commit to an attendance schedule. Whether that’s one to two events monthly or yearly, it should be based on company bandwidth and the level of involvement you want to achieve within an organization.
  • Never underestimate the potential benefits of accepting an opportunity, even if the long-term return is uncertain. Additionally, if you can’t commit to an opportunity immediately, remain open-minded to future possibilities; you never know how new connections might benefit your business later on.
  • If you’re lacking confidence, enlist the help of a team member or colleague to attend an event with you. No matter how seasoned a sales or marketing expert is, walking into a room of unfamiliar faces can be daunting. If you can solidify a few names you’ll know at an event or find someone to attend with, you’ll find it easier to present yourself and your brand with more confidence.

5. How can enlisting the help of a marketing agency help improve the efforts of trade show or event presentations and participation?

JN: A marketing agency can create visually appealing banners and trade show booth materials. They can also curate and organize promotional items and handouts for your booth. If you opt for video, a marketing agency can produce a brand story video to display at your booth and use in other marketing efforts.

However, one of the most important values a marketing agency can provide is ensuring all your materials are cohesive and on-brand. Too often, business owners scramble to prepare for an event while simultaneously running a business, and their asset creativity is rushed. As I mentioned, you only get one chance to make a first impression. If your materials are poorly executed and differ in tone or presentation, then that impression isn’t going to be positive. By working with a marketing agency, you can let them produce clean and brand-true deliverables, alleviating a large part of your to-dos before the event.

Are you attending or sponsoring an event this year and want to create design assets that reflect your brand’s value and clearly outline your offerings? Rizco can help! Contact us to learn how we can help increase your brand’s digital and in-person visibility.