Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
"The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge
and the dissemination of truth."

John F. Kennedy

Trace Cohen's Articles

5 Ways To Make Your Show Attendees Smarter With
Digital Exhibitor News



Knowledge is power! We all know this phrase; however, many do not know how to utilize it, especially at a trade show where it is important to know all that is going on around you. As a representative of your industry, you must be aware of all new things so you can make intelligent decisions for your company. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, but it just depends on how you present it through your marketing initiatives, such as social media, content marketing, mobile, seminars and booths. Hit all the senses!

So here are five ways you can help support all of your exhibitors while making everyone else smarter in the process:

Make your exhibitor news digital and accessible online

Every exhibitor has news to share, which is why they are at your show. Whether it’s a news release, sell sheet or brochure, find out what it is and get them to send it to you. Better yet, have them publish their news in your branded Digital Media Center. Most exhibitors are generally very busy running their business, which is why you need to start requesting this information at least three months before the show starts. Once your exhibitors publish their news on your website, when prospective attendees come to check out your site, they will find exactly what they are looking for which will increase the likelihood of registration.

PDFs, docs and flash drives are technically digital — but not quite

Take your marketing initiatives to the next level and stop leaving opportunities on the table. With my background in SEO and social media, it pains me to see so much potential for organic referrals and leads stuck in email limbo, or information that is buried in websites, and the only way for the media to pull this info is by “loading” it in another format. These extra steps increase friction and frustration; thus, media, as well as attendees, will lose interest in the process.

Social media, content marketing and search

To build on the point above, if your information, news and media is stuck in “limbo” then no one can share it with others. I very rarely see someone tweet or post a link to a PDF, or doc to Facebook… It’ just stuff no one wants to share. Searching them is also a hassle, as you can only do one at a time after downloading, and then open it.

Play the professor – educate others!

Education isn’t just about one person’s learning – it is the ability to share and educate others. I always tell my show partners and former PR clients to “play the professor” when talking with people about news and information. People love to quote facts, stories or teach — “oh I saw this… and the result was xyz.” There is always downtime at a show, so make sure people have things to talk about that involve the show, the exhibitors and the overall industry.

Send them news that they need to know about

All you are online is the content that you produce, so the more news and media (content) you can get from your exhibitors, the more influential you can be. If you start to collect and publish exhibitor and industry news months before your show begins, you can not only support your exhibitors by sending it out to your attendees, but you become a resource they want to come back to over-and-over again. Curation with newsletters is a hot trend right now and shows have a huge opportunity to become an influencer throughout the year and not just for a few days.

BONUS: Matchmaking based on news and interests

This is taking news curation to the next level. While it is specific to a broad demographic of people, it’s not highly targeted. Trade shows have so much information and “big data” on everyone attending their show through registration and news, they can soon play “matchmaker” for specific industries by recommending that certain attendees meet with a specific exhibitors, based on their products and/or services because they think it’s a good fit. It’s like online dating and the show is your first date, however, you can still mingle and hit it off with others.

The best trade shows that I’ve attended and participated in have always found ways to keep all of their exhibitors happy, while making certain their attendees and media knew exactly what was going on at their show. Research has shown that the top two reasons people go to shows is to find out what’s new, as well as, learn something new, which can sometimes be one and the same. There is obviously only so much a show can do, but with innovative digital news technology platforms we are starting to see some of the former physical restrictions removed, especially when it comes to syndicating and digesting information, news and media.

How does your show keep your attendees up-to-date with your exhibitor news?

© 2014 by Trace Cohen