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Is Social Media Marketing the Key to Exhibition Success?

Is Social Media Marketing the Key to Exhibition Success? James Barnett
Leveraging Social Media successfully through contemporary New Media technologies allows endless marketing opportunities that are empowering business to compete during tough economic times. The commercial challenge businesses are facing is to pinpoint the results of their Social Media campaigns and provide the most appropriate investment thereafter.

The exhibitions industry provides a relevant case study to this challenge as tradeshows now market products to a global audience as oppose to a select group of organisations and people. Although this measurement is hard to measure on a person to person case we can conclude that it plays a predominant role in business growth as social interaction develops brand recognition and digital interactivity has become compulsory integration for exhibitor display stands.

According to the February 2012 report on the Economic Impact of the UK Exhibitions Industry the sector contributed 5.6 billion to the UK economy and 0.4% of GDP. Companies that can wield social power effectively in this market will be able to compete in the global race so let’s examine some of the basic social principals in exhibitor’s digital marketing campaigns.

Prior to the Show

By promoting your exhibition on social media channels you may wish to use Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or even Pinterest to tag your exhibitions stand beautiful display of technology and engagement.  Essentially through using the web you are generating traffic and creating pre show buzz to build excitement for the features you will host.  The content you may create can also include new products, giveaways, breakout sessions and stories & testimonials to increase interest around your company. Use Tweet Deck to discover what’s trending in the build up to the show and start a discussion on LinkedIn relevant to the product.

Socially you may also introduce key staff, which can add a personal touch before the exhibition.  Any good social media strategist will set themselves goals and a specific course of action to orchestrate their marketing plan which will in turn improve the quality of results and trade.

Throughout the Show

Tweeting the show in real-time with photos of customer’s engagement with your product is both quality and unique promotion for your company. Try and generate an air of excitement throughout the event by methods like content and prizes that will allow customers online to be engaged with the show. Staff should encourage visitors to share their experiences with their networks. Take a photo of the product or booth and use Instagram to improve the colours and spread this virally as unique moment.

Post Show

Follow up on the contact lists you have created throughout the show and ensure you connect with professionals on all the social channels you exchanged details with. If you acquired research throughout the show then use this marketing material as a PR attribute. Whilst measuring success can be very difficult with social media Google Analytics allows you to track online traffic and social signals. The success and failure of the show is also dependent on staff feedback and a cheeky competitor analysis on the day is another great way to see how you are faring up.

James Barnett is a New Media Graduate & Former Business Consultant currently researching the effect of digital technologies on niche industries. I enjoy contributing engaging and informative articles which enable businesses to adapt to the...

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