Late in 2011, Mel White, the VP of Marketing and Business Development at Classic Exhibits Inc., contacted me to ask if I’d be interested in guiding their social media efforts at EXHIBITOR 2012 in early March.
So we set out a plan. Our main goal was to create as much buzz as possible (on a limited budget) leading up to the event. The plan was to shoot 2-3 entertaining teaser videos before the show. The videos would slowly reveal the concept and design of Classic’s new 20 x 30 display, a booth that would showcase their most popular 10’ inline exhibits.
Starting three weeks before the show, we started posting short teaser videos. The videos slowly revealed the “Be Better” concept using a lighthearted investigative reporter approach. Getting the inside scoop from Classic was the main theme. They appeared on the Tradeshowmarketing YouTube channel, here on Tradeshowguy Blog, and on Classic Exhibits’ blog, Trade Show Tales. In addition, we posted these on Classic’s LinkedIn group and Facebook page. Almost immediately, traffic to Classic’s blog tripled.
At the show, we posted more videos, shot a lot of photos, and met a host of people who saw the video. All of this was tweeted about and shared on Facebook as well.
So what did all of this social media activity get us? Let’s take a look and count the numbers where we’re able.
The four Classic Exhibits-related videos gathered a total of 760 views on YouTube (the five non-Classic Exhibits-related videos, by contrast, got a total of 177 views).
During the show, I counted about 20 people who made a comment after recognizing me (and my classic old Stetson Bogie-style hat) from the videos. According to Mel White, of the over 230 leads at the show, about 40 percent mentioned either the videos or the blog posts. In fact, Mel stated, “We’ve been exhibiting at EXHIBITOR for nearly 20 years. This year we doubled the number of end-user leads compared to past years. Some of that was the exhibit design, but the videos attracted customer to our space who would not have visited us otherwise. More than anything, the videos boosted our ‘cred’ with our distributors. We were viewed as the social media innovator at the show.”
A few of the results:
- Various links and comments I made on Twitter about EXHIBITOR (both Classic Exhibit-related and non-related tweets) got mentioned and/or re-tweeted to over 36,000 people.
- TradeshowguyBlog posts related to Classic Exhibits/Exhibitor have received 265 total views.
- YouTube search ranking for ‘EXHIBITOR 2012’ showed ALL videos on the front page of the search results, taking the Top 3 spots and 5 of the Top 10.
- Google search results for ‘Exhibitor 2012’ were less impressive, although a podcast recap of the adventures in Las Vegas at EXHIBITOR and in Anaheim at Expo West showed up in the Top 5.
- On Bing, a search for ‘EXHIBITOR 2012 video’ showed a Classic Exhibits blog entry as the top result.
Bottom line: From my perspective, it was a fun and worthwhile project, both for branding Classic Exhibits and as @tradeshowguy at the show. With all of the views and positive feedback, it added up to a win/win for both!