How to Make the Most of Social Media When Exhibiting at a Trade Show

Just five years ago, social media was written of by most marketing managers as an unnecessary expense. Today, however, it’s a vital part of almost every advertising campaign for both small and large businesses alike.

While the focus of a trade show should always be direct sales, social media can be hugely useful for your company’s trade show exhibit. Read on to discover how you can use social media to connect with thousands of people at your next trade show.

Using social media to advertise your trade show exhibit:

While social media isn’t a great tool for closing million-dollar deals, it’s an excellent tool for getting the people responsible for making those deals into your exhibit and chatting with your sales team.

If your company has an established social media presence, try running a contest in the weeks prior to your next big trade show. Simple retweet contests are often all you need to quickly establish your exhibit as one of the trade show’s ‘must sees.’

Using social media to reward visitors to your booth:

People respond to incentives, and giving attendees an incentive to visit your booth is a great way to improve your numbers. Add a QR code to your booth that sends users to a special bonus page or discount offer on your website.

Another great idea is to offer prizes for attendees that post photos on Twitter and Facebook from within your booth. Add portable exhibition furniture to your booth and encourage visitors to sit down, feel comfortable, and tweet a photo or two.

Capitalising on social media coverage during an event:

Less than a decade ago, the average trade show attendee spent most of their time chatting with sales reps and other attendees. Today, they could be spending their time online, tweeting photos and interesting stories to their followers.

Since almost every attendee will have a smartphone in their pocket – especially at technology trade shows – you can reach a huge number of people by tweeting that you’re holding a special competition, a cool event, or an informative presentation.

Connecting with media influencers using social media:

Trade shows are important events, and even the smallest of niche events will still attract at least a few reporters. Connect with the event’s PR team before it begins and find out who will be reporting on your trade show while it occurs.

Using this information, you can tweet journalists and bloggers at the event to let them know where you are and how to find you. Journalists can feel overwhelmed when there are hundreds – even thousands – of booths to visit, and reaching out with a story opportunity will often make you their top priority.