Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.

9 Tips to Put a Social Spin on Your Trade Show Marketing

The following is a guest post by Dennis Nixon, Sales Manager at Smash Hit Displays

In the days leading up to an exciting trade show attendees are likely tweeting about it, Facebooking about it, and blogging about it too. You’re likely doing the same as a trade show marketer, right? So take advantage of it! Integrating social media marketing into your trade show marketing before, during and after the main event can be the difference between having a successful trade show booth, and an unsuccessful one.

The world of social media and blogging can be quite an overwhelming one, but never fear. I’ve put together a list of 10 tips to help you put a social media spin on your trade show marketing efforts.

Twitter Search

Did you know: every single conversation on Twitter (except those from people who have private Twitter streams) can be searched via Twitter search?  Simply type in the name of the trade show you’ll have a booth at and you’ll quickly see others talking about the same event. Make sure to vary your keywords, and soon you’ll find a plethora of data to start prospecting prior to the event.

Twitter Lists

If you’re an avid tweeter than you likely know about Twitter lists. These can be a great way to compile a list of potential attendees, whom you can follow during the trade show. What will they be saying at the event? Where will they be having dinner or after-trade show events? Stay up to date. You don’t even have to actually ‘follow’ the users to put them in a list. AND you can keep the list private if you don’t want your competition finding all the users you spent time finding. In addition, don’t forget about the value of using Twitter for traffic, discussed in the recent post: “Are You using Twitter to Drive Traffic to Your Blog and Event?” on this blog.

Facebook Search

When you’re logged into Facebook you have access to their huge internal (and external for that matter) search engine. View all results for a specific term, people associated with that term, page associated with that term, groups, posts by everyone, posts by friends, etc… This can give you back results for many users going to the trade show, thinking about going, or just associated with it.

Facebook Groups and Pages

Using the search function detailed above, you can find groups and pages of prospects interested in the trade show you’re attending. This can be extremely helpful to start a conversation with prospects and tell them about your booth, where you’ll be located, and the fun stuff you’ll be giving away/doing at the event.

Use Flowtown

Have a prospects e-mail address but not sure if they are using social media? You HAVE to check out FlowTown. With this website you can upload your prospects e-mail addresses (before, during or after the event) and get information such as name, age, gender, occupation, location AND all the social networks that person is on.

Contests on Social Networks

Some trade show marketers suggest utilizing contests on social networks to help you spread the word about the trade show you’ll be at, in addition to getting a bit of notoriety and branding your business. Tell your fans and followers that you’ll be at the next big event, and the first five people to retweet or repost about it will get a prize when they show up to the event. There are so many ways you can spin a simple contest before and during the trade show, the possibilities are endless.


You’re likely using LinkedIn, heck millions are. But are you utilizing it to help with your trade show marketing? Tell your connections about your upcoming event, ask them to help you spread the word, or even connect with prospects after the event takes place. There’s so much you can do with LinkedIn, you just need to think outside the box.

LinkedIn Groups

If the event planner for the trade show you’re is good they’ll have set up a LinkedIn group. Use this opportunity to start connecting with prospects and chatting them up. Connect with others, help spread the word about the event, and afterward discuss what was learned or how it can apply to their future endeavors.

Blogger Outreach

Connecting with bloggers that are going to events is extremely important. They’re already tapping into the vein of your industry, so why not utilize their current reader base? Try securing a guest blogging spot, schmoozing them when they’re at the event, and staying in contact afterwards. You never know the types of connections you’ll be able to make over a few drinks.

If you still aren’t convinced that social media can work for you (or that others are using it), check out Tradeshow Insights post “Social Media and Tradeshow Marketing Results”, where respondents to a poll stated that a whopping 31% have already incorporated social media into their exhibit marketing!

Have you used social media in your trade show marketing before, during and after the event? What successes have you had with it?

About the Author: Dennis Nixon is the Sales Manager at Smash Hit Displays, a company providing trade show displays and booths to vendors throughout the United States.

  • 9 Tips to Put a Social Spin on Your Trade Show Marketing « Expopedia ,

    […] April 23, 2010 The following is a guest post by Dennis Nixon, Sales Manager at Smash Hit Displays In the days leading up to an exciting trade show attendees are likely tweeting about it, Facebooking about it, and blogging about it too. You’re likely doing the same a … Continue reading … […]

    • Katie Anderson ,

      Very helpful information! The future of trade show promotion, for both show managers and exhibitors, alike, truly does lie in the hands of the social media masters. The more platforms you’re plugged into, the more potential leads you generate (that is, considering you put forth enough time and effort to effectively engage with each platform’s followers).

      Have you considered the possibility of connecting these different social mediums? For example, by integrating your Twitter account with your Facebook Page, you can send all Facebook updates directly to your Twitter feed, reaching more people on more levels. Map Dynamics has a great blog series on using all the powers of Facebook to promote your trade show – before, during, and after the event. Check it out and let us know what you think!

      • Tim Patterson ,

        Katie, thanks for the comment…good ideas, all. I have experimented with different ways of linking FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. I still want to have some control over how everything spools out, so I tend to be careful how it all goes. I think it’s easy can overdo it. For instance, I personally don’t want all of my @Tradeshowguy tweets ending up on my personal FB page. But I do want my blog posts to show up there. I also want my blog posts to go to my Facebook ‘Tradeshowguy’ page.

        So I think it’s really a matter of seeing all of the options and determining what works best for your situation.

        • Katie Anderson ,

          I agree – you want to be smart and selective with the information you share. There is an option to where you can pick and choose what FB material you send to your Twitter account. You can choose to directly send every new piece of content, or you can choose to only share your Statuses, or your photos, or Notes, etc. For example, if you are plugged-in during the show, I think it would be helpful to be able to take interesting pictures and share them with both your FB and Twitter followers simultaneously. Just a few ideas to think about!
          .-= Katie Anderson´s last blog ..Facebook- During The Show =-.

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