Association for Advancing Automation (A3)

Global Advocate for Automation Technologies

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Digital & Inbound Marketing

Automate 2017 Show Promotion Leads to Record Attendance

Amplify uses multiple digital and inbound channels to promote Automate 2017 trade show

Automate 2017, sponsored by the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), is a biennial robotics and automation event – one of the broadest automation events in North America. A3 and its sister organizations – Robotic Industries Association (RIA), Automated Imaging Association (AIA), and the Motion Control and Motors Associations (MCMA) – have been Amplify clients since 2007. We had also marketed the Automate 2015 show. The goal for Automate 2017 was to make it the largest Automate show since they were launched.


As the broadest automation show in North America, Automate 2017 had an agenda item for just about anyone involved in the automation industry, no matter how ancillary or remote their role. It was a challenge enough just to spread the word to every corner of the industry, but the sheer breadth of the agenda items, exhibitors and attendees, and overall value of attending was a challenge to communicate in a concise and compelling manner.


We worked closely with our client to develop a comprehensive website for the show that would cover all possible types of attendees and exhibitors. This involved a deep dive into buyer personas – fictional representations of the target audience – so that all messaging and design spoke to the audience’s varying needs and motivations for attending or exhibiting. This website served as a foundation for all other marketing and promotion efforts.

We determined several different industries to target based on historical attendee data and aspirations for future growth of the event. This led to multi-channel digital and inbound marketing campaigns, personalized for the automotive, electronics, metals, machine vision and robotics industries. These fast-growing industries were strategic attendees and exhibitors, not only adding to the event’s size, but promoting growth of future events too.

Other themed campaigns were launched too. Holiday-themed campaigns were launched in an attempt to drive engagement with the trade show’s brand and remain relevant throughout the year as the event approached. There were gift card giveaways and even an Amazon Echo giveaway to keep prospective attendees and exhibitors interested and motivated.

The heart of the campaign, though, was a hard push on social media both organically and through paid promotion, and an equally strong presence through AdWords and other paid advertising methods. Social media and ads helped spread the message to every corner of the industry around the world. It also helped stay top of mind, as marketing efforts started long before the show took place. Every campaign, including the foundational website, was amplified through the use of paid and organic social and advertising. Visibility increased, traffic increased, engagement increased and conversions increased – social and ad spending was a powerful promotional tool.


Automate 2017 was the largest Automate show ever put together. Attendees and exhibitors came from across the world, with much of the attendance directly attributable to digital and inbound marketing methods.

Social channels provided great visibility for the event, reaching millions in the course of a few months. AdWords and advertising spend showed strong return on investment (ROI), and when combined with social channels, turned out to be one of the most effective methods of promoting the show.

We continue to work with A3 and its sister organizations on a number of other initiatives as part of an integrated marketing campaign, including the promotion of several other conferences and trade shows.

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