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Achieving Trade Show Zen

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Someone once explained to me that Zen should be thought of as “a total state of focus that incorporates a total togetherness of body, mind & spirit.” In the business world, Achieving Trade Show Zen can be thought of as a perfect alignment of Marketing, Sales and Face-To-Face Communications.

I asked Shama Hyder Kabani, CEO & Founder of The Zen Marketing Group, for 3 Tips on Achieving Trade Show Zen. She put me in touch with
Katie Herum, VP of Social Media Marketing, who provided the following answers to my questions.

How are companies successfully integrating their online marketing efforts with trade shows and face-to-face events?

A successful event marketing strategy will have 3 phases – a pre-show strategy, a real-time strategy, and a post-show strategy.

• Your digital marketing efforts before the show should have the objective of awareness. Let your network and your target audience know you’ll be
  there and give other attendees the chance to plan a meet-up with you (many times trade show attendees will already have a full schedule by the time
  they arrive, so reaching out ahead of time should give them enough notice).
• During the trade show, real-time marketing is crucial. Whether you’re attracting traffic to your booth, trying to build your network, or just looking to
  increase your brand awareness, make sure that you’re timely. Sending a tweet about a keynote 2 hours after the keynote could mean missing out on
  hundreds of thousands of impressions.
• After the show, companies should roll out a follow-up strategy to stay in contact with the people they met or interacted with, the people they would
  have liked to reach out to, and generally giving kudos out to the show itself.

Campaigns that include these 3 phases will see the most success.

What are the top 3 easiest things that a company can do right now to bring online efforts to trade shows?

1. Be active in the trade show Twitter feed. Find the event hashtag and participate in the conversation. If you’re low on time and resources, make sure
    you at least participate in the real-time conversation since this is where you’ll see the most value. TIP: Quote a keynote speaker and mention them
    in your tweet. Including an image of the keynote with your tweet would be even better.

2. Include content marketing efforts in the strategy. Write a blog post before and/or after the event. Before the event, you can announce your
    business will be attending, talk about the difference keynotes, social events, and even what other attendees might like to do in the area. After the
    event, use your experience to talk about the speakers and things you learned while attending. TIP: Like I mentioned earlier, if you tag speakers and
    the event you mention in the blog p ost when you promote it on social media, there’s a good chance they will share it with their own networks. Don’t
    forget to use the hashtag!
3. When you don’t have access to a designer, use Canva to easily create images with your company name, logo, booth information, and event
    information. Use these images in your social media promotion strategy. TIP: Tweets with images are more eye-catching and are proven to
    encourage more engagement than tweets with only text and links.

What are the biggest mistakes that people make today in marketing?

Marketers tend to take the “social” out of social media. Trade shows and events are meant to be networking opportunities for attendees, exhibitors, and speakers. While it’s important to network face-to-face, you should also be networking on social media – specifically Twitter. For example, thank a prospect for stopping by your booth, and engage with other attendees in the live feed. Don’t let your networking stop after the show. Part of your post-show strategy should be connecting with new prospects, influencers, and colleagues online to continue to build the relationship.


© 2015 by Michael FlavIn