If you want to make sure your show is a success, you need to maximize your efforts in your pre-show marketing. As with any marketing strategy, a successful presentation depends on one thing: being seen.
The problem is, with so many companies competing for the same audience, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. There are many different ways to avoid this. It will help to have the most eye-catching booth or sales team on site. The same goes for competitions or drawings during the show. But we’re pretty sure we’ve found the best strategy.
The best way to create excitement about your next show and get maximum traffic is to use social media. Your pre-show marketing is just as important as the show itself. Social media is rocket fuel when it comes to raising awareness of your presence at a trade show.
Below are seven social media strategies that you can use to pick up your pace and draw attention to your presence at your next exhibition.
1) Organize VIP events
First of all, you need to create an event on Facebook. This can be an open event or a select group by invitation only, depending on how you feel. The event can be as simple as * your brand name * @ * exhibition name * and inform people of the exhibition opening times and your stand number.
Another effective tactic for social media events is to host a networking event or drinks reception for other on-site exhibitors. You don’t necessarily have to set the date, time and place, but people will do their best to get in touch with you as the organizer.
By creating an event, you can see who is interested in an event. This will give you a good idea of the type of people you will connect with at the exhibition. Once you have this information, you can make sure that you are properly targeting your social media marketing strategy.
2) Connect with visitors
B2B marketing is about making connections and building relationships. A solid social media strategy is your opportunity to do so by connecting with decision-makers and other exhibitors.
Use LinkedIn to find industry experts and prospects for the event. By connecting with them or following them on Twitter, you have already started building a great relationship. You have come one step closer to achieving results in your exhibition.
3) Create a landing page
Create your own landing page on your website with all the information about the exhibition. It should include details about the show, such as the venue and instructions on how to get there, as well as highlighting your presence.
This encourages people looking for information about the event to visit your website. Share the page and paste the URL on your social media bio and pages to encourage new audiences interested in your industry.
By creating a landing page and monitoring the flow of traffic on the page, you can monitor the success of your pre-show marketing. You can view collection data to get an idea of where this audience is from and direct your team to focus on specific platforms or types of content. This is both a marketing tool and a way to monitor your success.
4) Announce your presence
The biggest mistake exhibitors make is not to announce their presence at an upcoming event. How are people supposed to know of your presence? When reserving your space at an exhibition, be sure to talk about it on your social media channels.
You can advertise your presence as often as you like, depending on the platform. Every social media marketer knows how to effectively use websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to interact and engage with your audience. If you don’t, don’t worry. These social media tools do it all for you.
You can start the drip-feed information as soon as you want, then announce your freebies and countdown to the event in the final days before the show.
Tag other companies that you know will be involved in the show to get more exposure, including organizers, stand designers, and complementary companies exhibiting.
5. Organize meetings, lunches and dinners
Instead of waiting for prospects to come to you, use social media to follow them up. Talk to industry experts and event participants and make an appointment to visit your stand. When you announce your presence and connect with visitors, you are halfway through this step.
Not only does this ensure that your exhibit booth is entered, but it can also appeal to the people who you think will benefit most from the face-to-face interaction. Exhibitions are great opportunities to meet people who show a real interest in what you are doing.
They offer the most targeted audience, and social media gives you a chance to take advantage of this (for lack of a better word). Take this opportunity and meet daily before you get there with evening meetings, lunches and socials.
6. Create an event day
With a catchy hashtag and plenty of time to speak up, you could be a winner with your pre-show marketing. If you start the conversation, you can get a big return on your investment, especially since 48% of Millennials attend events so they can share something on social media.
Use this hashtag as often as possible on all of your social channels. If your exposure goals and objectives include increasing brand awareness, this should be a central part of your overall strategy. Creating a custom event hashtag, as Mark Hill did in the photo above, can promote user-generated content.
User-generated content is free media coverage for your brand. When people tweet or post a photo on Instagram with their hashtag, they become brand ambassadors and micro-influencers. Creating a hashtag encourages this behaviour and can bring you a ton of free advertising.
As your show gets closer, you can drop off pointers on competitions or giveaways that you would like to run at your booth. Contests are a great way to get people to your booth, but not when people don’t know about them.
Let people know what kind of events you are hosting at your booth. Tell them exactly when and where to find it and make people think about the best prizes, giveaways, and competitions at the show.
Again, this is an opportunity to use your custom event hashtag and direct people to your newly created landing page. Updating your profile with prize and giveaway teasers is enough to have someone say, “This is a booth well worth a visit.”
Keep the competition simple, but the price has to be great. Everyone gives away bottles of Prosecco. So think outside the box and choose awards that your industry experts will enjoy.
Following these steps can lead to your most successful event yet. Promoting your presence at a trade show, liaising with relevant delegates and creating a social atmosphere through your stand will kickstart the day.
Hosting events and meetings generates more leads. With all these methods, user-generated content is maintained, and you are positioned as an industry expert. Put these important tips into practice and enjoy the performance.