11.05.2018

How to maximise exhibitions using social media

The start of the Boat Show season has kicked off with Palma Yacht Show at the start of May, shortly followed by London On The Water. If you are exhibiting at any show, now is the time to get your social media platforms and content schedules ready to help maximise your investment.

Exhibiting at any show comes at a considerable expense and the addition of effective and consistent social media channels can help you reach as many prospective customers as possible. We’ve put together a quick social media check list to help you navigate your way to a productive show season.

  1. Set up a Twitter account if you don’t already have one. Every show will be using a hashtag or two to promote their event. Find out what these are and before the show, tweet about your attendance, stand number and any other activities you’re doing prior to the show – joining in the pre-show buzz.
  2. Have a plan – regardless of which platform you are using, create a plan that details what you plan to post and when. It’s no good posting intermittently as it will no doubt pass readers by so make sure you’re in amongst the action from the get go!
  3. Tweet both existing and prospective customers informing them of your attendance, inviting them to drop by your stand. Perhaps provide catalogues, booklets or freebies for those who stop by so that they have something to take away with them.
  4. Get in touch with relevant journalists on Twitter that you think will be attending. Invite them to your stand and tell them a little about what you are exhibiting and why you’re there (tricky but not impossible in 280 characters!)
  5. Run a Twitter competition. A great way to aggregate a list of attendees at the show is to run a competition via Twitter. Ask attendees to Tweet a photo of your stand using the show hashtag and your Twitter handle to be in with the chance of winning. Not only does this provide an extra layer of publicity at the show but also allows encourages visitors to stop-by your stand and helps build a list of attendees for you to follow up with after the event.
  6. During the show, post about your daily activity – name checking any journalists, industry bigwigs or customers who’ve visited the stand. Take and share photos of what’s happening and if you’re feeling adventurous why not live stream from your stand – bring the show to those who can’t be there! Also, retweet any activity where you’re mentioned.
  7. Host a happy hour – if you have a brand ambassador at the show then hold a meet and greet on the stand and invite the public and journalists to your stand. Post images or live stream!
  8. Ask prospective customers if they’re on LinkedIn. Its the perfect environment to connect, especially in the B2B space.
  9. After the show, get back in (virtual) contact with anyone you’ve connected with in the real world via LinkedIn or Twitter. Ask if they got everything they needed from you or if there’s an opportunity to set up another face to face meeting.
  10. After the show say ‘thank you’ to the organising team, using the show hashtag to ensure you get the most from any post-show awareness – this works especially well if you have a great story coming out from the show.
  11. Write a blog post once you’re home, including any post show quotes and point all your new connections to it via your social media channels. Inform your readers of where you’re headed next and thank those for making the time to stop by and say hello!