Start weeks in advance. As soon as you know when your company’s next tradeshow event is, start advertising. Provide as much information as you can about it and let them know early on what they can look forward to. Give your potential attendees some previews of the products you will be selling with photos. Show them what they missed out on last time by reposting photos/videos of the last tradeshow and how well it went. If this is your company’s first one, gather some testimonials and tell people what to look forward to. Letting your customers know early also lets them mark their calendars for your big day.
Facebook will be one of your strongest tools to spread the word about your event. The site gives you the opportunity to create a public event and extend the invite to anyone and everyone. The more ahead the event is created, the more your potential attendees will be reminded. On an event, you also can post updates- a good opportunity to boast about the products and any new products that will be displayed.
Include an embedded map of the event location, and a link to your business’s website.
Twitter doesn’t have the option to create an event, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rave about your upcoming event. Like Facebook, you can post photos and videos on your feed for the attendees to see what they will get a taste of. Links are going to be your best friend. This is a good platform to post various links to either your company website, Facebook page, or the host-site of the trade show itself. Encourage your followers to turn on your alerts so they can get updates anytime you tweet about the event.
Take some photos of your business’s most appealing products and include an enticing caption. Users are more likely to click on links if you give them some information, but just enough to keep them wanting more. On either every caption or photo, be sure to include some piece of information for the upcoming event; it doesn’t have to be all of it. Most importantly, use relevant hashtags. Include as many as you think necessary. When you are ready to publish your photo to Instagram, be sure to select the Share with Facebook and Twitter options and remind your followers about it with a nice picture.
During the Trade Show
All the listed platforms provide an option to record live videos, so during the tradeshow, let your audience know how great your business is doing. Show off your products, and how much buzz your booth is getting.
Be sure to give your customers your social media names and encourage them to tag your business in the posts of their products or satisfaction.
Host a social media giveaway for your tradeshow customers. Provide a small prize for those who check in with your booth on Facebook. If you don’t want to buy an abundance of small prizes, purchase one big prize and offer a raffle ticket in exchange for a post (with a tag) of your business.
This is also a great opportunity to post a testimonial photo or video with your satisfied customers. Be sure to get their permission before you post about them, and don’t forget to tag them if you can.
After the Trade Show
Let your customers relive the excitement. Post a short blog about how well the event went and include photos and customer testimonials.
If there’s time, splice together a video montage of all the photos you and your customers took at the event and of their products. It’s okay to include some short videos in the montage to display the highlights.
Then, try to reach out to the customers from your trade show and follow up with their products. You can also do this on Facebook, on your business’s page. Check under the Community tab to see who wrote about you or mentioned you in their post. Thank them for their participation and let them know when your next event is.
The same goes for Twitter and Instagram- engage as much as you can with likes, comments, and retweets.
As always, be sure to let them know when they can look forward to your next show, and start prepping for the next one!