Tradeshow marketing is essential to the success of any company’s appearance at highly competitive tradeshows or conventions. Regardless of how much you spend on great boothattractions or giveaways, you won’t capture the audience you desire if you don’t generate enough interest in advance and maintain that level of interest throughout the show. Tradeshow marketing is crucial, and convention planners know that social media is the latest and greatest weapon in the tradeshow marketing arsenal. They’re using it to great advantage for convention marketing that’s targeted and timely.
Before The Event: Tradeshow Marketing with Social Media
One of the most popular forms of social media being used for tradeshow marketing is Facebook. This ubiquitous social media platform has more members than the population of the United States. By creating a Facebook page devoted to your company and announcing your appearance at upcoming tradeshows, you can create immediate buzz. The beauty of it is in the simplicity – you’ll discover that interested customers will become your marketing platform by posting comments and forwarding your information to others. Networking with other, non-competitor companies that will also have a presence at the convention is a great way to reach untapped customers with your tradeshow marketing.
Blogs are another form of interactive social media, encouraging dialogue and creating incoming and outgoing links from your blog to other sites. Through this interaction with customers, you can immediately expand the reach of your convention marketing dollars at no additional cost to you. YouTube can also help you create interest if you’ll be offering a new product or service – simply create a demonstration video that can be used as a teaser to draw potential visitors to your booth to learn more.
Tradeshow attractions are a great way to create excitement and stir a crowd at your booth. In addition to the tradeshow attractions you will feature, offering incentives when you demonstrate your services and products is also a great way to use Facebook for your tradeshow marketing. Offer anyone who mentions your Facebook page or who comments on one of your threads an incentive when they stop by your tradeshow booth. It could be a personalized consultation, an extra gift, or any other enticement that makes them feel like they’ve earned something extra simply by following your Facebook updates.
During The Event: Don’t Neglect Your Tradeshow Marketing
You may be tempted to sit back and relax about your tradeshow marketing once you’ve done the pre-event social media rounds, but you can continue to pump up the buzz and attract plenty of visitors if you keep in contact with interested customers via Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare. In fact, more than half of all event planners and tradeshow experts now use Twitter updates to keep interest high throughout an event.
Post audio or video clips from the tradeshow floor on Facebook. Choose short sound bites or brief videos that will encourage customers to visit your booth to check out the interesting tradeshow attractions you’ve given them a glimpse of online. Let potential clients know you have experts on hand to answer questions and entice them with booth attractions that make your booth a “must” as they navigate the convention floor. If you’re going to be doing specific product demonstrations throughout the day, tweet your followers to give them a heads up when something is about to happen so they won’t miss a thing.
After The Show: Use Social Media To Follow-Up
After you’ve packed up the products that you have just showcased and are headed back to the office or next convention, you can cement new relationships with anyone who visited your tradeshow booth by following up on your tradeshow marketing through social media. Send out a quick “thanks for stopping by” message via Twitter or post an update on Facebook that mentions the success of your booth. Post a brief, follow-up questionnaire to gauge how people responded to your products, services and the tradeshow attractions that you used to generate increased traffic. With this feedback, your staff can gain valuable insight that you can use to determine the results of your recent show. And of course, remind your new contacts to visit your website for product news and updates any time!
Jonathan Edelman provides helpful advice about trade show strategies. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, follow up techniques, and using trade show marketing strategies to boost revenue.