Are you looking for ways to improve your on-site strategy at your next trade show? Even if you have an outstanding trade show exhibit, with innovative displays that make your product almost jump off the shelf, compelling literature, and giveaways that everyone wants, your company is limiting itself if not finding ways to connect with customers outside of the convention.
Preparing Your Booth Staffers
Often pre-show marketing (one of the most valuable ways to generate traffic for the day of your event) is handled by just that – the marketing department. However the boots on the ground booth team is often made up of people comfortable with talking about products and networking. This indispensable focus falls on your sales team. They should participate in pre-show training, should know the products on display, and be prepared to answer basic questions about them. Reaching out to existing clients can also be a good way to keep a relationship strong while shamelessly promoting your company’s attendance at a convention.
Utilizing on-site social media in your trade show for your sales strategy focuses on receiving the qualified traffic that your marketing team is hopefully generating. Sometimes your booth team is in the perfect position to manage reporting from the show’s hashtags and keeping your followers up to date on developments at a trade show. Usually this is handled by a designated social media focused team member that understands the environment and what writing styles are approved to fit your brand. For the most part, if you aren’t the designated team member for this, phones should be kept out of sight during events!
It should be common etiquette now to avoid eating, drinking, sitting, talking with other booth staffers, and using technology devices at trade shows – however this remains a popular trade show sin. Any of these behaviors can make attendees keep walking past your trade show exhibit.
Social Media Goals at your Event
- Create pre-show buzz.
- Drive traffic to your booth.
- Increase your brand recognition.
- Expand networking opportunities & deepen relationships.
- Promote special offers.
Managing Social Media at Trade Shows
For the designated “social media reporter” on your brand, staying active on up to the minute developments is an important responsibility that must be balanced with attentiveness. Body language is always important at a show to make sure you appear inviting to passing visitors. It is difficult for an attendee to distinguish whether you are actively engaging with clients in the ‘tweetosphere’ or just making plans with your BFF for after the exhibition.
There is a great responsibility for the social media effort to maintain a worthwhile presence while taking care not to overstep boundaries and start using disreputable tactics or incentives just to trick people into visiting your booth.
Beware these restrictions in particular:
- Read the social media network’s guidelines: This should be regular practice before or when you join a social network. Guidelines familiarize you with rules and what is expected of the network’s users.
- Are you running a sweepstakes or a contest? Determining what kind of promotion you want to run can simplify or complicate things legally, so it is important to figure out which type of promotion makes more sense. It can be difficult to differentiate between the two “contest” and “sweepstakes” term, but the main differences are that sweepstakes do not require anything more than the contestant submitting their information, and winners are usually chosen at random. A contest requires the entrant to perform a task such as submit photos, create a graphic or recipe, and so on.
- Define Rules. Networks, groups, and contests require rules and regulations. Creating these documents can be a pain in the neck, but they cover you legally (for contests or sweeps) and let your network know what you expect of them.
- If it isn’t original content, source or link to it.
- Ask before you repost customer photos, or if at an event, let them know photos may be used online.
Make Social Media Part of Your Trade Show Exhibit
The social media posts that come from the show should be in line with your marketing strategy. Whoever is doing the postings should be prepared with some basic material to post that incorporates the official #hashtags for the show. Even if you try to present your company as approachable, everything that is posted should be businesslike and correctly spelled. You can still be personable and professional in your social media posts.
Don’t be afraid to post about your exhibit at the show either. Post your booth number, what’s happening in the booth, and get people to stop by for a visit.
Have questions about how to best use technology and social media with your brand? Our exhibit experts are always happy to discuss options and recommend the best display for your company’s needs.
The Monster Displays team can be reached at Sales@MonsterDisplays.com or call (888) 484-3344, we’d love to put our experience to work for you.