During the Show
Most shows will have a hashtag that you can use to promote your presence on the main social networks. Take lots of pictures or live tweet highlights from keynote speakers during the show. At the end of each day of the show, ask one of the people working the show with you to create a blog post detailing any workshop or speaker recaps available as well as any news about the event that can help attendees navigate the next day. Your content will prove invaluable to those attending, as well as those who were unable to attend.
Videos or photos from your booth, as well as any interviews you can snag with current customers or testimonials from your event, will increase your credibility. A trade show happens to be one of the easiest places to capture these moments as everyone is already in the same location.
The most important thing to do during the show is capture as much information as you possibly can. Having a means for prospects to join your database or fill out a new form on your website that garners them exclusive content - and you a valuable email address. If you use a CRM, be sure to have created a "lead source" field unique to this trade show so you can email and follow up with this specific list in a targeted and efficient manner. Using this field will also help you measure ROI on your trade show now, and in the coming months as you continue to nurture those leads.
Let your sales team know that reaching out right away will be the best practice - and right away means that day or the next. Thank the prospect for stopping by the booth and include an offer with more information. Following up before everyone else gets both your company and sales team positioned to compete for the business long before other vendors have considered reaching out to them.
Post Show Digital Marketing: Be Helpful & Persistent
After the show, you - and everyone else who exhibited - will get the post show attendee list. If you were able to follow up with booth visitors right away, this list would give you a chance to reach out to people whom for whatever reason did not stop and see you at the show. Create an email segment and follow up with these leads differently than you approach the leads who already met with you.
After being bombarded with information and offers at the trade show, your follow up efforts need to be considered and targeted. Generate something of value to your audience - whether it is content you have created or a special incentive offered only to trade show attendees. As you will be one voice amongst many, plan to outlast your competition with an email drip campaign that continues promoting your product or service long after most of your competition has forgotten about that trade show list and has moved onto a shiny new list. By preparing the drip campaign in advance, you can focus on nurturing what will feel like old leads while still competing for the business of those new leads that have your competitors fascinated.
Have your team leverage LinkedIn and follow up immediately with a connection request that includes a personal note mentioning the trade show and any details you can remember about meeting them if applicable.
Continue to update your website and social media with relevant information regarding the show or news that interests your target marketing will not only help with this trade show but will continue paying off as you build an engaged social media audience.
Getting the Most From Your Trade Show Investment
Using any or all of the digital marketing techniques outlined here will increase your returns on your trade show investment. Rather than getting one or two big sales out of the show, you can begin the long process of creating a relationship with each company.
Whether you have used digital strategies in the past or not, finding a reliable partner to help you navigate the constantly shifting digital terrain will be helpful. With so many different strategies to choose from, a reputable agency will be able to maximize your marketing budget no matter how many dollars you have leftover after exhibiting at the show.
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