Hyundai Heavy Equipment – marketed by one of the largest Hyundai Equipment distributors worldwide, the Porter Group – held its Dig Day Out event from Tuesday 18 to Saturday 22 November last year in Nerang on the Gold Coast.
A variety of machinery was on display – from small-scale utility machines to larger earthmoving equipment. The range included Hyundai’s largest wheel loader, the HL780-9, and the R320LC-9 excavator, plus its range of rollers and skid steers.
Porter Group staff conducted live demonstrations of the company’s Dash 9 interactive cluster technology, cabin ergonomics, diagnostic tooling, Hi-Mate remote monitoring systems and Cummins engine technology.
James Rutherford, the head of corporate business and strategy for Hyundai Equipment, said the 10,000m2 site that hosted the event was selected so attendees could freely test the machines without barriers in a setting fit for purpose.
“It’s ideal because we can dig holes, move material and set machines up on mounds, which provides the customers the chance to operate and play with the machines,” he said.
Technical support staff were on hand to answer any questions about the machinery and to discuss potential applications and diagnostic scenarios with individual attendees.
A direct marketing approach
The Nerang event was the second Dig Day Out held in Queensland. The first was in May last year, and subsequent Hyundai Dig Day Out events were also hosted in Sydney, Canberra and Perth later in the year and in February this year in Adelaide.
Another Queensland event is planned for this month (March 2015). There will also be announcements of more events in 2015.
“The driving force behind these events is that we’ve come to realise that established trade shows are rapidly losing favour with users,” Rutherford said.
He said the Porter Group and Hyundai Equipment’s market reach model was focusing on developing digital strategies and interactive media, and on hosting more of its own events around the country.
Rutherford said this strategy would enable the company to develop stronger connections with its customer base, as well as potential customers.
“We feel more comfortable operating with a direct approach rather than over-investing resources in a show with mass competitors and other industry peers present. It fits in with our company philosophy as well.”
Rutherford said by using direct marketing the company had attracted highly targeted customers and good sales prospects.
“We had in the region of 150 people attend one of our events earlier this year (2014). From that we were able to develop very good business outcomes – a significant improvement compared to traditional, orchestrated and governed shows that we’ve appeared at in the past. In terms of return on investment and being able to develop our own private exposure and outcomes, there has certainly been an indication that this event model has merit and works.”
Rutherford said the Nerang event had built on the success of previous Dig Day Out events. “With our Nerang event, we have had several quotations being put together with our partners from the first day alone,” he said.
In addition to being an effective way of connecting with customers, Rutherford said the new marketing model had served to bolster the Porter Group and Hyundai Equipment staff’s morale, describing it as “an excellent team-building event as well as a customer connection opportunity”.
Having established a “tried and tested formula” for correspondence, marketing and site set-up since the first Dig Day Out in May, Rutherford said the Porter Group and Hyundai Equipment teams were well prepared for future events, although he added the game plan was still evolving.