Those who don’t know the B2B world would think that trade shows are saddled with poor reputation and an element of ‘annoyance’ or ‘repetition’. For those in the industry, you know that trade shows are the bread and butter of B2B.
Trade shows have evolved from endless rows of booths and foldable tables to an activity with a special trade show marketing strategy team assigned to it. What a trade show does is offer you a chance to show the whole industry how relevant you are while offering actual ‘face time’ on the trade show floor. Its undoubtedly one of the best ways to get in front of an interested audience and regardless of whether you have a big budget or a lean one, using a digital marketing strategy for events is an incredible way to extend your reach, grab eyeballs and be top of mind long after the show. Digital marketing for trade show promotions doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be clever, creative, and memorable.
Lets break down the digital activities that can be conducted into 3 parts, namely:
- Pre-Show Activities
- At-Show Activities
- Post Show Activities
Digital marketing for trade show promotions begins the minute you know that you’re going to be present at the trade show. Make an announcement through e-mailers and social media posts and DON’T FORGET HASHTAGS. Hashtags are now ‘relevant’ on social media to promote trade shows. Find the official hashtag and monitor it and add it to every single social media post. One can research and use mediums like web advertising to show up for relevant people through banners or links on relevant websites.
Using event marketing on social media in order to promote your presence at these trade shows is key. Creating interactive content, such as quizzes, contests, or treasure hunts ensures your customers check all your digital properties and stay glued before the event. This also gives them reason to visit you during the trade show. Create an event on Facebook to let your ‘followers’ know of your presence at these events. Event marketing on social media is an incredibly useful tool to ensure that the right kind of hype is created before the event takes place.
You should ensure that in the mix of the different social media platforms you don’t forget updating your website. So easily ‘spot-able’ mentions on your landing page will surely generate interest. Lastly, have an event email marketing campaign in place. There’s not a soul in the B2B world that doesn’t check their mails regularly (especially if you have incentive-based titles).
Remember to leverage the power of event marketing on social media during the show. With the multiple ‘live’ features offered by almost all digital platforms now, you can cover the activities that will grab eyeballs easily. Use Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to bring the events of the day to the masses. You can also maximize the potential of your social media existence by displaying the winners or those participating in contests or events conducted by you. In the case of events that spread over a few days, offer an end of day summary or recap to keep yourself etched in people’s memories for the remaining days/events.
Trade shows with digital marketing will always impress visitors and create an easily available platform to go back and find information. Use e-newsletters, event pages, and e-mailers to pass on information that can solidify this ‘lasting’ memory. Interviews and testimonials can be used as great reminders for the success of the event. Regularly update relevant information in order to have parties revisit your digital media platforms.
We can look at the likes of Microsoft, who generate interest from all over the world, even if the event is taking place at one particular location. Use live features, regular and continuous updates along with devoted hashtags to keep everyone glued to their smart devices. A great case in point is IBM, one of the biggest B2B businesses, who are able to put out their company’s beliefs of a ‘smarter planet’ using digital media to cover their interactive and innovative concepts at trade shows. Not only awing those present, but getting the attention from all across the globe portraying the depth of their expertise and strengthen customer relationship.
All in all, trade shows are still one of the greatest platforms to ensure your business is out there for an astonishingly appropriate, voluntary audience. It’s all about standing out from the crowd to ensure that you leave a lasting memory. You now have the tools to have a lasting effect on everyone present, so for your next trade show, don’t be just another stall.