Tradeshow and Exhibit Thoughtleaders
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Trace Cohen's Articles

8 Ways Generating Content before Your Show Will Increase
Engagement


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Having been to hundreds of shows, conferences, expos and tradeshows, Iím still baffled by the fact that itís almost impossible to find out what the exhibitors at the show do before it starts.
 
I work mainly on the press/media relationís side and there is an abundance of press kits with images, press release, overviews and fact sheets that the attendees of the show, your potential buyers, partners, distributors or friends have absolutely no access too. To ensure that people keep coming back year after year, we need to close the gap and better inform everyone who is apart of the show.
 
Digital content is the means and social media is the medium by which we can do this. We need information to make informed decisions before a show starts as most exhibitors have that readily available months in advance and are just looking for a place to put it. If your show had a news center up and running, you could take advantage of the benefits below.
 
Here are the benefits of your next show having a robust news center on your site up and running three months before it starts:
 
1) A perfect touchpoint to connect with your exhibitors
 
This is another chance to support your exhibitors who are at your show for a reason Ė they want people to know about their product or service. If you publish their news on your site or allow them too, it makes their involvement more sticky.
 
2) Drives more traffic to your site
 
The more content you have, the more reason attendees and media have to come visit your site, before, during and after your show.
 
3) Increases social engagement
 
All we are online is the content we produce, so if you have no content, you canít share anything. Producing more content creates the opportunity for everyone at the show to share it, not only to people who will be there but for everyone who cannot.
 
4) Tweeting your news creates a real-time feed of activity
 
Twitter has created an amazing news platform that allows anyone listening to find what they want, assuming it was tweeted out. This is especially true if youíre show has a hashtag (#) that everyone is using.
 
5) Facebook postings
 
Everyone is always looking for something to post to their Facebook group every day, so whatís better to post than your show/exhibitor news? If you post exhibitor news and let them know, they will most likely like, share and tell people about it.
 
6) Putting the news in your app
 
Floor plans, lists of exhibitor names and schedules are great but you need content to give it context.
 
7) Smarter attendees
 
The more information your attendees have at their disposal, the better they can find exhibitors they want and take full advantage of your show.
 
8) More news and information for the press
 
Most exhibitors will reach out to the press before the show, but that means they are getting hundreds, if not thousands of emails with text, attachments and unsearchable content. You can help facilitate and own the relationship between the media and exhibitors by sending them one source for all their news. Donít wait until the day of the show to give them paper press kit, flash drives and CDs.
 
9) BONUS Ė You can monetize it!
 
Charge exhibitors for access to publish their news so that you can better support them. Find sponsors for the news, as it will generate lots of pageviews, before, during and after the show.
 
Shows are about engagement, so I canít understand why you wouldnít want more content to help facilitate that. Iíve spoken with numerous show organizers that for some reason have it as a policy that they donít publish any of their exhibitor news online Ö whatís the different between publishing it online or having them exhibit at your show? Online news is just a digital representation of your physical show. 
 
Social media and content marketing donít have to be scary as long as you have a plan in place. Utilizing the power of networks is a great way to not only engage your community and exhibitors but a great way to engage theirs as well.

© 2014 by Trace Cohen