I was fortunate to attend the B2B Marketing Forum (#MPB2B), where intelligent and inspiring marketers shared powerful insights about B2B marketing today. During #MPB2B, over and over we heard examples of powerful storytelling, tips for creating good content, and ideas for communicating with our audiences as "real people."

My company, Live Marketing was a finalist in the first-annual Bright Bulb Awards, honoring excellence in business-to-business marketing. To my surprise (and delight!) we won "Best B2B Marketing Project" for our marketing efforts at a tradeshow.

As I thought about the B2B Marketing Forum and our campaign, I couldn't help but notice some common themes. So here are four of my takeaways from #MPB2B and our award-winning program. Any marketer can apply those inspirations to their own tradeshow efforts for brilliant success.

1. A Great Story

First, we had to get the attention of our audience at the tradeshow—savvy, and extremely busy to boot (sounds familiar, right?). Considering that this project was for an industry tradeshow where we didn't have the largest booth on the floor and every other exhibitor was competing for the same attendees' attention, we needed a different messaging tack.

Our main message/theme became "What Kind of Marketing Monster Are You?" To learn the answer, we invited attendees to visit our booth and take a short quiz.

Aside from a provocative question with a light pop-culture tie-in (think "Monsters University," the movie, and Lady Gaga's "little monster" fan base), a visual theme was critical.

We created three original whimsical characters—the Tech Junkie, the Storyteller, and the Buzz Builder—that were integrated in all program elements. The marketing monsters reflected common challenges that exhibit marketers face with their programs: successfully integrating the latest technologies, telling a powerful story, and creating buzz.

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image of Kristin Veach

Kristin Veach is chief communications and growth strategist at experiential marketing agency Live Marketing, where she is responsible for driving results using online strategies for live events.

LinkedIn: Kristin Veach

Twitter: @Kristin_Veach