Even with the ease and efficiency of the Internet and technology to connect companies with new business, tradeshows are still a must-attend event. The marketing and promotion of these tradeshows, however, is changing. Social media is a fast, engaging way to reach your audience before, during and after your show. Social media has become another tool to utilize in conjunction with traditional media to attract more traffic to your booth.
Many tradeshow organizers have recognized the use of social media and have developed activities around it during the show. Many have developed hashtags for tradeshows on twitter (or one has been organically already created). Anyone posting in this hashtag will be searchable via this “term” and allowing more people to connect with your company. Additionally, many organizers have developed “tweet-ups” for participants who engage in twitter and want to meet others at the show who do as well. Furthermore, some organizers even offer seminars on best practices of social media for companies during the tradeshows as well.
Before the show, start promoting your booth number in tweets, posts, and emails.
- Use the hashtag in your twitter posts- This allows anyone that is searching that particular term to find you—a much bigger audience than just your followers.
- Tweet or facebook or blog post include preparations you are making for your booth at a show and reasons why someone would want to stop at your booth.
- Start promoting any seminars that you may be conducting or promotions/contests you may have at your booth.
- Search the hashtag on twitter or the facebook event for companies/customers to target and start the conversation before even arriving at the show.
- Create a foursquare check-in spot and allow give-aways for those who check-in. Not only are they engaging in you, they are also advertising your booth to their own on-line community.
- Live video stream or start a google hangout that shows activity occurring in your booth or of a seminar your company is conducting.
- Tweet, facebook, and/or blog post information about your booth- why people should come to your booth, any giveaways you have, promotional pricing that people could get at your booth, an electronic version of your brochures, and anything else that may peek interest of people coming to your booth.
- Use the hashtag on twitter to be able to find more people who are attending/monitoring the show for more engagement. Engage with these people—invite them to your booth!
- Personally thank those that tweeted, “checked-in”, stopped and engaged with you in some way.
- Share slides/presentations/brochures via social media after the tradeshow.
- Blog a recap of the tradeshow and use other social media platforms to link to this blogpost.
- Continue the conversation with those who engaged with you.
The most important thing to remember when using Social Media at tradeshows is to be sure you are engaging in order to drive traffic to your booth, not just posting information. Be sure to start the engagement early and continue the conversation even after the show!