For many brands and services, recaps are one of the most useful ways clients can receive data pertaining to their product. Recaps answer important questions. Are they hitting their target demographic? Is their product perhaps enticing to a market they hadn’t thought of? Is the product well received by the consumer? What is the gender and age range of their average buyer? These are only a few concepts; the benefit of recapping is honestly endless, but this can give you an idea of its importance. Recaps are essentially the client’s bird’s eye view into an event and how it played out. You want to create a recap that makes the reader feel like they are there. First and foremost, pictures are of utmost importance. While the old phrase goes that a “picture tells a thousand words,” when it comes to promotional marketing, it might just be a million. Photos not only allow the client to see what a venue was like, and what the models and consumers looked like, but they can also be used for marketing purposes. Whether that means a post on social media, usage in print advertisement such as pamphlets, specials, and the like, or even website usage; good photos with excellent product placement, depicting customers enjoying a product, are invaluable to brands. This photo isn’t just about having attractive models in the picture, it’s about making sure everything is perfect, from avoiding backlighting, to selecting attractive backgrounds to the photos, down to making sure there are absolutely no competitive brands in the photos, such as signage or even someone wearing a piece of clothing advertising a competitor. Always make sure each photo gives a little snapshot of a moment in time during an event, a moment when everyone was having fun! Remember as well, that if any expenses were made that are expected to be reimbursed, that an itemized receipt was photographed and uploaded. Showing a client that you respect their money starts off your working relationship on a great foot.
Just as important as having good photographs, is accurate demographic data. A recap might not always ASK for the gender and age range of consumers who sampled a product, or visited a booth, or took part in an experience, but keep track of this throughout your event and add it anyway. These numbers are extremely important to target consumers. Every product in the world has a well thought out target demographic, and these categories are endless. Some products are even just marketed to the entire general public, and even at that, there are subcategories the marketing subtly caters to. Whether you are working for a fitness product that is marketed towards a health and wellness crowd, or a laid back, easy drinking beer, marketed towards young men in their twenties and thirties, pay attention to who is engaging with you and what they have to say about the product. Your input might show a client an entire untapped market that is showing interest in their product, because after all, promotional models and brand ambassadors are the eyes and ears for a product out in the field!
Perhaps most important of all when creating a recap, is letting your client know all about your sales! Showcasing your value in the form of sales data sets you apart from the crowd. Think of this as your biggest brag of the recap! Keep track of what was sold while you were working and what (if any) specials were going on. For instance; Taco Tuesday special on tequila, or a special rate for products purchased there at the trade show, or limited time offer. You should know; as well, the regular price of these items. This will both help you let consumers know they are getting a deal by purchasing the product right now, and show your client how well specials and other marketing tactics went over with the consumer. Remember that you are there to boost sales, but most importantly, to create a relationship between consumers and product, as the face of this product. Yes, you want to sell this product today, but you also want to create a life-long buyer out of the customers you interact with!
Lastly, make sure you document commentary from consumers. Try to avoid recapping comments such as “This is so good!” or “You girls are so pretty!” These are not useful pieces of information about the product. Instead, use comments like “I just love that this ultra lite beer is only half the calories of the original, and all the same flavor!” Let clients now what products of theirs consumers already liked or didn’t care for, such as “I had really been wanting to try these new wine coolers, I know this company is known for their beer, and I’m not a beer drinker, but these refreshing fruity drinks are something I WILL buy!” or “I love the daily face cream I use from this company, but this new hand lotion is too fragrant for me” Those comments help a client to see how their product is being received, if it should be continued, and where they can better target their marketing tactics if they aren’t hitting the market they want to be reaching. Maybe they can now capitalize on female drinkers with their new carbonated wine coolers, or perhaps they can target a younger crowd for a fragrant hand lotion not well received by the target demographic of the brand’s other products. Don’t be afraid to put negative commentary in your recap, just be sure it is done with explanation and is constructive. If a consumer samples a product and doesn’t like it, ask them why they don’t care for it, and be sure to add that in the recap. Comments like “This isn’t good” are not useful to anyone.
It’s important to remember that a recap is the client’s “birds-eye-view” into an event when they can’t be there themselves. Documenting even the smallest details separates a mediocre recap from an excellent recap. The more the client knows, the better they can get to know their consumer audience and their needs and wants. Promotional models and Brand Ambassadors work almost like secret spies, giving an insight into the customer’s experience firsthand. By supplying a client with an exceptional recap, you are finishing the job you started when you booked the event. You wouldn’t clock out from work early, so don’t turn in a sub-par recap! Following the above guidelines, assures you will turn in well rounded and useful recaps, and gives you a leg up to be booked again and again!