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Trade shows, a traditional marketing practice that has thrived on face-to-face interaction since its beginning, are being transformed by social media.

Social media has become an essential component of trade show marketing strategies, enabling companies to expand attendee engagement beyond event walls and into the digital space. Here are a few tips to integrate the two worlds together at your next exhibit:

Develop a Strategy

  • What are the goals?
  • Which social platforms will be used?
  • How will social media be incorporated into the existing plan?
  • Who is responsible for posting, engaging and monitoring?

Generate Pre-Show Buzz

  • The Show’s Social: Follow the trade show’s official social media accounts. Tag them in your content and like, share, or retweet their posts.
  • Hashtags: Find out what the official show hashtag is. Begin monitoring the hashtag to get involved with attendees and use it in your content to promote your company’s presence at the show. Also consider creating a hashtag specific to your booth campaign.
  • Teasers: Is your company unveiling a new product or service at the show? Quickly generate interest by developing and sharing teaser content.
  • Incentives: What incentives are you offering to booth visitors? Promote contests, give-a-ways, special opportunities or discounts to excite and entice attendees.
  • Booth Events: Whether it be a guest speaker, product demonstration or fundraiser, post valuable content about the activities that will take place in your booth.

Showcase At-Show Action

  • Pictures and Video: Capture what’s happening in your company’s booth, live from show floor. Feature contest winners, product demos, special events, presentations, and more. Keep attendees in the loop to drive booth traffic and give people who couldn’t attend a glimpse of the action.
  • Testimonials: Obtain and post video testimonial from the satisfied customers who visit your booth. Prepare a few questions beforehand that will direct customers to share their excitement about your company, product or service.
  • Product Experts: Share video clips of your company’s experts providing a feature/benefit overview of specific products on display to drive engagement and booth traffic.
  • Show Your Fun Side: Hosting a happy hour to mingle with customers or a dinner event for your team? Help attendees relate to your brand on a more personal level by showing your special after-hours events.
  • Schedule Content: We all know trade shows can get busy. So, schedule key posts, such as upcoming presentations or contest deadlines, ahead of time.

Deliver Post-Show Follow-Up

  • Leads: Thank those who attended the trade show, especially the people that stopped by your company’s booth and interacted with employees. Connect with and further engage the contacts you made at the show by following their social accounts.
  • Recap: Blog about the experience and share it on social. Summarize the highlights of your company’s exhibit and post valuable content to maintain relationships.
  • Evaluate: Determine the success of your trade show social media campaign. Review its strengths and weaknesses and identify and discuss areas for improvement.
Erica Lopresti

Author Erica Lopresti

Erica is an Account Executive at InQuest Marketing. She leads key marketing discussions with clients and works closely with internal teams to ensure projects are completed on time, on budget, and to client standards. Her favorite agency memory came when her client was recognized as a Top 10 exhibitor out of 2,800 at a major industry tradeshow. Erica's hobbies include drawing (her go-to mediums are charcoal or pencil) and traveling (Thailand is next on her list).

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