Recently, we shared emerging 2017 trade show trends—all the top, latest ways to maximize your exhibiting efforts.
While plotting your more comprehensive promotional strategies, be sure to also integrate social media marketing for trade shows you have coming up this year and well into the future.
Social media is a tool that can be used before, during or after the big event to advertise your involvement, sponsorships, speakers, seminars and parties. Your brand can hook—and hang on to—participants’ and the press’ attention by mapping out easy yet effective moves like these:
Go Before the Show
Don’t wait until you hit the floor to kick off your trade show social media campaign. Employ all of your social media channels, and start the conversation early!
You’ll be in good company. EXHIBITOR magazine conducted its 2017 Pre-Show Marketing Survey and found that “85 percent of companies currently use at least one form of pre-show promotion in an attempt to improve the return on investment from their exhibit-marketing spend.”
- Follow the trade show’s social networks. Note its official hashtags and use them to trumpet your presence there. Join in on online event groups and discussions.
- Shape your own hashtag. Tailor this valuable identifier to your brand, and include it in your communications. Remember: As soon as you know your booth number, publicize that too!
- Cut through your website’s clutter. Construct a custom landing page that whisks visitors from social media and right to the details they need.
- Exchange dialogue with the show’s chief staff members, other exhibitors, industry media contacts and, of course, attendees.
- Lure your audience with videos and photos. Tease that brand-new product or campaign you’re launching, your booth’s attractions and any noteworthy happenings.
Invite your contacts, individually, to meet with you at the show.
Chat at the Show
Now that you’ve arrived, stay social with a full-scale flurry of updates and engagement. Every facet of your experience may be intriguing to your audience, from show prep to at-show activities to off-the-floor events to after-hours antics.
- Arrange a schedule for planned posts, and even what they should say. Doing so will help you track social media pursuits amid the show hustle and bustle.
At the same time, be game for creating impromptu posts when inspiration strikes or something fabulous occurs.
- Sharing truly is caring. Not everyone who’s captivated by your adventures can attend the show in person. Send some love to everyone by posting great photos and videos regularly—and in a timely manner.
- In your booth, broadcast your social media channels, URL and any online info you want visitors to have.
- Encountering folks enthusiastic about your brand? Record their endorsements! Post today, or save it for another opportunity down the road.
- Social networks are also ideal spots for staging giveaways and contests. Announce them, flaunt booth swag, wrangle entries and reveal winners.
Many trade shows such as our client IMEX America—America’s worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events—provide a social media team. If yours does, reach out before and during the show, and let them know what you’re up to.
Follow Up After the Show Finale
Your social media marketing shouldn’t stop when the trade show closes. For ultimate success, continue your campaign long after the last booth clears.
- If you haven’t already, post or send out any meaningful content or videos handed out or created during the show.
- Recap your experience in a blog article. Likewise, consider further topics surrounding things you learned, session themes, fun anecdotes and common or thought-provoking questions you fielded.
- Deal those business cards. Organize those notes. Then, mine your new and revitalized contacts.
- Sync up with those contacts on their social networks. Email. Call. Make it personal, and plan to see each other again!
- Remind your contacts (politely) to follow you back. That way, they can remain apprised of your organization’s latest news and insights.
Follow up. Really. What good is generating business leads, communing with colleagues or forging friendships, if you don’t capitalize on those connections?
Ready to get social at your next trade show?
The possibilities are endless—and our social media specialists are prepared to pitch in! Email Lynn Kaniper at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 609.466.9187, ext. 117 today.