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

August 2012

Promoting Your Event Online

If you’re going to a tradeshow as an attendee, or putting on an event of your own, here’s a shortlist of the various things you’ll want to consider as the base elements of our online promotion:

Event website: should contain event information such as schedule, days, times, locations, etc. This is your basic high school journalism approach of the 5 W’s: Who, What, When, Where and Why. This is also where your online registration forms will be. The page should also be populated with the various social media buttons that allow attendees to share the information, whether before or after they have registered.

Media Kit: Your digital media kit is where the press and attendees or even those just with a passing interest will find more detailed information in a variety of formats: event descriptions, videos (interviews, show previews, testimonials, etc.), photos of past events (speakers, exhibitors, locations); logos, banner ads and any flyers or posters you want to make available to promote the event.

Public Meeting

Blogs: of course you should have an event-specific blog. While it’s tempting to fill the blog with self-promoting posts, you’ll have a much better chance to gain readers and traction by sharing information on problem-solving, issues, and how-to’s within the blog. You may, for instance, have case studies on how a product or service got a client over a hurdle. Or you may have examples of problems the industry faces and the various ways those problems are handled. The blog needs to have links to all of the various social media and event registration sites, too.

Social Media: before the event sit down with your media promotion team and plan out the timeline of promotions: tweets, photo opportunities, social media sites you’re focusing on and the various people that are tasked with social media engagement. Identify the partners and colleagues in your industry that you’re looking to team with on certain elements; identify (and agree upon) responsibilities. The more you know ahead of time, the easier the event execution will be. Plan tweets, PR meetings, industry trade blogs and publication connections and more.

Going Mobile: a majority of your event attendees will be using mobile access to the various social media outlets, so your online presence (blogs, websites) should be optimized for smartphones. If the event is big enough, you might consider creating an event app (lots of companies would be happy to do this for a fee!) so that all information is easily available anytime/anywhere.

E-Mail: an oldie, but goodie, e-mail is still effective at promotion. And remember that in these days of mobile access, less is more. Streamline your emails down to the barest critical information so that they get to the point and are easily read on a smartphone.

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 photo credit: mikecogh

Social Media: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect

I know people who hold back from doing things because they feel that if they don’t do it perfectly, they would rather not do it.

Excuse me, but you’re human. You will never be perfect. So don’t let your fear of not being ‘perfect’ out of the box on your social media tradeshow marketing hold you back.

Perfection DOES exist. But only in the eye of the beholder. For instance, a rose can be perfect. Or an outdoor landscape in the desert or mountain. Or a night out with your significant other.

social media: you can't be perfect, so don't try.
You can’t see the perfect forest for the trees!

But social media? Don’t hold your breath. All of your competitors and colleagues are still scrambling for the best way to do something. They’re trying to tweet at the right time to get more people to their booth. They’re looking to use Facebook to brand their appearance at the show. They’re hoping that Pinterest will hold someone’s interest enough after the show with photographs that those viewers will learn something or remember a bit or piece of the show.

But that’s all they’re doing: they’re just trying.

Don’t worry about perfect. Just think about the next step and take it.

7 Ways Your Social Media Tradeshow Marketing Sucks

On, no! Not another list post! But they’re so fun to write! Not only that, but putting thoughts into a numerical list makes it much easier to digest.
Here are a few ways that you may be coming up short, er, uh, sucking…at your social media tradeshow marketing.
  1. You’re not taking and sharing photos. People love photos and love to spread them around. Next time at the tradeshow booth, have your smart phone handy, or a digital camera. Take photos of visitors, get their names, post on Facebook, or if you have a lot, put ’em up on Flickr. Then share them throughout your social network.
  2. You’re not consistently tweeting. Just one tweet about your special tradeshow booth guest or author isn’t enough. Get it out several times a day. Post ahead of time by a few days. Use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to schedule your tweets.
  3. You’re not shooting video and sharing it. Videos can be extremely useful, especially if you’re shooting videos of customers talking about how your products can help them (testimonials). Don’t worry about professional quality. Just keep it short and to the point – two minutes or less – and you should be fine.
  4. You’re not mentioning anything about your tradeshow appearance on your blog. Yes, your blog isn’t supposed to be rife with tons of posts about your company. It’s not a place for press releases and company awards your CEO just won. It’s for helping readers solve problems and answer questions and gain insight into your industry and products. But there’s nothing wrong with mentioning upcoming events you’ll be involved in, especially if there’s an opportunity for visitors to get questions answered or see how your products and services can solve problems.
  5. QR Nametag

    You’re spending too much time reading goofball posts and not actually creating good content. In other words, it sucks because you’re allowing it to be a time-suck. Be thoughtful and conscientious about your approach to social media marketing and the time you spend, and you’ll do a lot better.

  6. Thinking that each tweet, Facebook post or video that you post will translate to a sale. Social media and sales will probably never converge the way that marketers and sales teams wish they would. But if they understood how social media could build a tribe of followers and like-minded people, those connections may eventually ring the cash register. Not only that, it can create a tribe of people that will go to bat for you and help spread the word about your product or service. Face it; social media connections are generally fairly weak. Believing that each ‘like’ on your page means you’ve just gained a great friend or customer is wishful thinking. Instead, think of it as an introduction during a busy party. Once that introduction is made, look for common ground, offer useful information, respond to questions and engage without looking like a stalker. And DON’T try a hard sell – if you do, those casual connections will vanish.
  7. You’re not involved at all. Yes, it would be easy to write off social media as a weak marketing effort. If you do, though, you’re letting a terrific opportunity to meet and greet with no pressure slip through your fingers. Instead, look at social media as a way to continue to make connections, and even though they’re weak at the beginning, if you are a real person behind a brand, those connections will strengthen as you spend time working them.
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 photo credit: CUhomepage

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