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The New Era of Trade Shows: From Brand Voice to Social Voice!

Brand and Social Media Voices At Trade ShowsLet’s face it.  When it comes to trade show exhibiting, most companies use the same tactics that they used years ago and the sad part is all the companies start to look and feel the same.  Strategy seems to be an alien concept.  Most exhibitors are peddling the same stuff with perhaps a bit different flavors.  This scenario is specially true in a vertical market.

So, what do you do as an Exhibitor who wants to create a memorable splash at an event to gain the high ground?

“Inbound” Your Trade Show Presence:  Do something phenomenal in your booth.  It could be a unique architecture that represents your brand or featuring an activity in your space that attracts people naturally towards your space.  At the Exhibitor 2012 we held seminars for trade show marketers in our space through out the day.  It created phenomenal buzz and people were organically drawn towards our exhibiting space.

Harness Social Media to Promote Your Presence: Start telling your tribe about the event far in advance about the trade show. Create a hashtag for the event and a compelling reason as to why they should visit your booth. It may include a special giveaway, a new product announcement or even the opportunity to be one of first few alpha users of a certain product that is still in development.

Create a Foursquare location for your booth at the trade show:  Surprisingly enough, people are checking in to specific booths on Foursquare when they attend a trade show.  Offer a special promo to people who check in to your booth.  The promo may be a 15-minute, one-on-one-consultation or an extra prize.  This will provide incentive to people to check in to your booth and will promote your presence to other Foursquare users.

Excite Your Internal Brand Ambassadors to Promote the Event: Encourage them to talk about your trade show presence to their networks.  For your sales team this is an ideal opportunity to broadcast to their leads the benefits that they will reap in attending this show.  And of course, your marketing warriors should be in the forefront in promoting this event.

Create a Targeted Offer for the Trade Show: A unique landing page on your website that promotes your trade show presence and addresses the question “What is there for me?”  Compound this unique attribution with downloadable e-book or whitepaper that relates to the theme of the trade show.  If people are interested in what you are saying, they will have another reason to attend the trade show.

Generate a QR code that you can imprint on your trade show graphics: Encourage people to scan the code. Configure the code to send people who scan it, to a dedicated landing page with the same value proposition that highlights the trade show connection. Invite them to download a targeted offer. This will help you to generate leads from your trade show presence and will give you a way to track results from the event.

Promote Aggressively with Social Sharing:  Compelling content is bound to go viral.  Include social media share buttons in your landing page to encourage others to promote the event through their own social networks.  Take advantage of the industry journals that you subscribe to.  Go ahead, follow them, like them whatever you have to do to get your content noticed.  Start a two-way conversation.  Generate third-party recommendations from people not directly associated with your business.  You are bound to increase your reach!

Think of your trade show booth as a destination site. Partner with local restaurants, entertainments and other flavors to provide compelling offers for your visitors that will strike a chord of memorability in their minds.

Evolving Role of Exhibit Marketers: free white paperIn this new era of trade shows, exhibit marketers like you are doing new and different things to get noticed.  For more information on the newest tasks and challenges facing trade show marketers today read The Evolving Role Of Exhibit Marketers.  Click here to request your free white paper. 

About the Author

Sarmistha Tarafder is the Creative Director and Choice Architect for Skyline Northern California trade show exhibits. She is the co-creator of brands in 3D spaces.

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