The trade show used to be a completely different type of event not too long ago. Interaction with visitors at a trade show booth was over once they moved past it. Thanks to the Internet though, things have changed and how!
Over the past few years, trade shows have become interactive events that begin days (or months) before the actual show and even continue after it’s over.
Trade shows are expensive. So it’s necessary to ensure you are making the most of the dollars you’re spending on them. One of the best ways to capitalize on your trade show participation is to use the online medium to enhance your business’s presence. By implementing a pre-show online marketing campaign, you can build awareness about your trade show appearance.
These tips will help you succeed at your next trade show:
1. Send Emails to Inform Your Email Subscribers
Email is an excellent way to inform your subscribers about your trade show participation. Reach out to your email subscribers by sending them emails informing them about your upcoming trade show appearance.
These emails should collectively contain the event highlights, a video teaser about the event, or any other relevant information that builds interest in your audience. Also attach a registration form. Send out the emails a few days before the event.
It is also important to include and promote social connection options in your emails since they are useful to generate customer engagement with your company.
Don’t annoy your subscribers with too many emails. Just a few leading up to the event is the best marketing strategy.
2. Use Social Channels to Build Anticipation
The key to market your trade show participation effectively is to build anticipation in your audience. In the weeks leading up to your trade show, contact prospects on Facebook and Twitter to remind them that you’ll be exhibiting. Share content regarding the upcoming trade show.
Sharing content as a trade show marketer can include tweeting about the show, posting on Facebook information about the products you are planning to introduce at the show, or pinning photos of your booth on Pinterest.
A social media contest is another surefire way to build buzz around your participation. Choose a prize that relates to your business, products, or services. You can also choose something that holds a broad appeal for your current and potential customers.
3. Blog about the Event
If you aren’t blogging about it, you’re missing out on a huge marketing opportunity. Social channels are great for generating pre-event buzz.
To keep the momentum going share your blog posts about the event on all the social channels you are present on. People love to read about an event before attend it.
4. Get in Touch with Prospective Attendees through Social Channels
Know the trade show’s official Facebook page and Twitter account. Comment, like, retweet or share the posts by the exhibitors to grab the attention of the attendees. Find the Facebook and Twitter hashtag for the show to get in touch with people who are going to attend the trade show.
Contact these trade show attendees using your Facebook and Twitter accounts and encourage them to visit your booth. Start tweeting and posting updates about the event well in advance using the official Twitter handle and Facebook hashtag for the show. A single creative Facebook post or a tweet can attract lot of people to your booth, thereby helping you gain leads.
5. Engage with Influencers on Social Channels
Influencers are people on social media with thousands of followers. Before the trade show, identify and start networking with the influencers in your industry. Ask them to share your content within their networks and invite them to your booth. If they tweet or comment about your trade show participation on their personal social profiles, it will drive a huge amount of traffic to your booth.
You can even search for bloggers writing about the trade show and send them a personal invitation to attend your booth.
6. Use the Event Application Feature of Facebook and Foursquare
RSVP to the Facebook event created by the exhibitors on their official Facebook Page. Let your followers know that you are going to a trade show.
You can generate excitement in your audience ahead of time using Facebook and Foursquare events. Create an event on these networks and invite your followers to your trade show booth. Also create a Foursquare location for your booth at the trade show. Encourage people to check into your booth during the trade show by offering incentives.
7. Use YouTube
YouTube can be a great marketing tool. If you are going to be launching a new product or service at the trade show, upload a teaser video on YouTube. Alternatively, talk about your service and what people will be able to learn at the trade show if they visited your booth. Post a link for this video on your social channels using the official hashtag for the event. This will give people a reason to visit your booth.
8. Create a Landing Page for Your Website
You may want visitors that you have attracted through different online trade show marketing tactics to reach a landing page before they see the rest of your site. Create a landing page for your website to inform visitors about your trade show participation. This landing page should direct visitors to take either of these actions: share the news about your trade show display on social channels; watch the promotional YouTube video; read your blog posts on the trade show; or entice them to fill out the registration form.
Now that you have created a solid footprint online, it’s time to move to the trade show!