Trade shows are an excellent opportunity to build customer relationships, so why do so many companies stay in the dark throughout the entire event? Today’s consumers are tech-savvy and stay connected to the Internet while they are at a trade show exhibition – so should you!
It takes more than just showing up and meeting people, the key to making a trade show a success is to focus on driving engagement before, during, and after the event by using social media networks. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn — the correct use of these Internet channels can help you make a lasting impression with attendees and stand out among the sea of exhibitors.
Here are some helpful tips on how to use the Internet and social media in order to make the most of your next trade show exhibition:
1. Update Facebook
Facebook is currently one of the top tools to get the word out about your trade show, but it’s important not to overdo it with updates. Too many posts about the trade show can increase your opt-outs. It’s considered best practice to post about once per week before the event starts, then during the event post only during the event only post one update per day.
Use the official event #hash-tag and tweet before, during, and after the show. Promote competitions and special offers through Twitter, such as “the first 30 people at our booth win a prize!” Keep a dedicated staff member or team to engage followers and reply to posts. You can also display your feed live at the show using LED signs from Twisplays.
3. Create YouTube Videos
Take your promotional strategy to the next level by using video to broadcast your message at the event. Create activity at your trade show booth and film the excitement, and then share the excitement by posting the videos on your social media channels. Videos are a great way to create buzz and build your brand online, driving more traffic back to your site.
4. Promote Foursquare Check-Ins
Make your booth a location on Foursquare so that participants can “check in” each day to receive special offers. Encourage visitors to leave tips about your products by offering exclusive discounts and prizes.
5. Provide Wi-Fi Access
Having secure, reliable tradeshow Internet access at your booth is an ideal way to drive sales and sign-ups, and it will encourage people to stay around a while. It’s a good idea to create a closed loop WiFi hotspot to keep people around in case there isn’t a reliable or strong wireless network in place at the trade show itself. It’s also nice to offer charging stations to help event attendees to connect and communicate, in turn boosting your buzz.
6. Make Use of QR Codes
Make use of QR codes in your booths, brochures, giveaways, and promotional materials. QR (short for “Quick Response”) codes can be read by smartphones to provide additional content and special offers. They are particularly helpful for people passing by quickly that want to get more information from your booth.