This article originally appeared February 23, 2012 on Digital Brand Marketing Education & Interactives
media networking and marketing
allows businesses to reach and
provide tremendous amounts of
information to clients, prospects
and referral sources. However,
face-to-face marketing still has an important place. Trade shows are one area where social media can provide significant support to face-to-face efforts and create
opportunities for overall event marketing success. Exhibitors can use all the help they can get; The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) reports that 80 percent
of exhibitors make no attempts to follow up on their leads from trade shows. Considering how much is spent on trade shows this is a shocking statistic.
shows are typically face-to-face,
relationship-based marketing events.
However, when in-person marketing
activities are combined with social
media, sales success can
be improved, and the effectiveness and lifespan of marketing messages and branding can be extended well beyond the trade show itself.
According to marketing industry veteran David Clark, “Ratcheting up your social media marketing, before, during, and after a trade show is proving to be one of the most
effective ways to drive traffic to your booth and cement the relationships.”
Before the show a business must
leverage its collective social media
presence to promote its appearance
and related activities. Post
information, pictures and/or videos
a preview of a new product or video invitation to visit the booth) about the event, the business’s participation and/or booth activities. The goal is to let people/prospects know the
who, what, where and when and most importantly the why they should visit the company’s booth. Use social media to promote contests, giveaways or prizes that will be connected
with a specific trade show appearance. If the trade show has its own hashtag, include it in all posts. Hashtags can be used to engage audiences, generate buzz and form
relationships.Promoting the show in general helps attendance and all exhibitors should work together to mutually support each other. Often show producers can help lead a team of
exhibitors and provide them content to help them promote their appearance as well the show.
the show organizer/producer,
show marketing firm and other
exhibitors with whom there may be
synergies. Non-competing exhibitors
can use this strategy to build
relationships and find cross selling opportunities as well. Exhibitors and show managers can and should share content via social media. Starting early and being proactive will allow
exhibitors to reach more people and prospects with a variety of messages and images and get a jumpstart on creating a buzz which will attracts booth traffic. From a media relations
perspective it is essential to get to know and communicate with show managers and their marketing firms. Here is a link to a short video I recently published with a few tips on trade
show public relations strategies.
often to social media sites during
shows. Show people what is happening
and what will be happening at the
booth or the show. Invite people to
check-in on Facebook or Foursquare,
perhaps for a drawing or other reward (show special) or simply to invite people to visit the booth in person to learn about something new. Be sure to remind attendees of the contests,
giveaways, and all the exciting and interesting products or demonstrations happening at the booth. Post information about the show, pictures, video, or gems of information from seminars
According to trade show marketing
professional Timothy McClain, by
“link[ing] your Foursquare account
to your Twitter and Facebook
accounts…you [can] check in, add a
and it will appear with your location link on Twitter and graphical map on Facebook and be shared across your channels.”
the booth businesses can use smart
phones and social media apps to grow
their social media “followers”
directly on site. Give access to
social media pages in the booth by
a designated computer or tablet to allow users to “Like” the business on Facebook or follow on Twitter. Recruit booth visitors to “Like” the business using their smart phones as well a
QR (Quick Response) code can be used or link visitors to Facebook on their phones. After Facebook is mobile enabled, people can then text “Like” and the business’s Facebook page
username to 32665 and they will automatically “Like” the page.
the show, continue to post pictures
and video from the event. Post
pictures and create albums to Flickr,
Facebook, Picasa, etc. to show booth
activity and interactions. Be sure
to post thank you messages to the event organizers and to key prospects and contacts. Social media can assist with follow up. It provides the opportunity to present images, messages,
video and other branded content in such a way that will allow prospects learn about the company, but not be hit with hard sales messages. Use LinkedIn and Facebook direct messages
to start conversations, share information and continue relationship building.
Social media’s role in the trade
show space is growing. It can make
trades shows more fun, support
branding and assist in the
relationship building process. This
is key to building trust
and we all know that people want to do business with people that they trust, like and know are capable of doing the job. Social media can help create a buzz before the show, make
interactions at the show itself more interesting and extend the marketing value of a tradeshow appearance.
© 2012 by William "Bill" Corbett, Jr.