I love all things digital, but there are still times when I have to haul out the old trade show stand and “exhibit” in person. I try to attend as many of the workshops and panels as I can at a show.
However there are times when you need “man” the booth. This used to mean long hours of boredom with little or no human interaction. For me, things have now changed.
Last week I attended a trade show and I found I didn’t have a spare moment of time on my hands what with all the digital marketing I was doing in between panels. Here are ten things that kept me busy:
1. Use your CRM to send out a campaign to delegates inviting them to your booth – Got the delegate list? Why not send them a campaign inviting them over? You might think sending marketing several days before the event is the best plan, but why not follow up with a campaign sent while you’re at the event to catch people in the moment?
2. Blog – This works best if you can attend a stream or session so that you can comment on content. If you can’t attend, get the notes from one of your team who has attended a session yet or, better yet, get them to write the blog. Timeliness is everything when it comes to blogs – blogging about the event on the day or the day after is what makes the most compelling account for your readers. Here’s an example of a blog post I wrote and published last week during a trade show.
3. Tweet – Firstly, find out the trade show’s #hashtag. This will enable you to to follow the stream of tweets surrounding the event and to contribute your own. Tweet not only to promote your presence at the trade show, but also to share information about the show’s content with those who cannot be there. Remember, people expect more from your social media persona than a stream of promotion – to use this medium to its fullest, you should be thoughtfully distributing the information you consume as well as self-publishing.
4. Instagram – If you really want to give people a feel for the show, do it with photos and share them with ease using Instagram. It’s one of my favourite and most frequently used apps. I also use it to take photos for my blogs.
5. Update your CRM – This may seem obvious but I was amazed recently to see an awful lot of bored looking marketers who did not seem to be concerned with the stacks of business cards piling up. Your CRM is available via the web, so get updating those target lists so that you can ensure your digital marketing is going out to those newly made contacts.
6. Prepare your “thank you” campaign – Again, this may seem obvious, but if you’ve got time in between sessions then why not sit down and prepare the campaign you intend to send to delegates after the trade show is over?
7. Collect and analyse other relevant campaigns – Lately I’ve been collecting and keeping the campaigns I receive from other sponsors. I like to see how they vary in style and technique and it’s a great way to inspire new campaigns.
8. Update your Linkedin group & Linkedin connections – Mid-trade show is a great time to update your LinkedIn contacts and any group announcements you’ve made regarding the show.
9. Analytics – How well did your pre-show marketing campaign do? What about the in-show marketing you sent out? Take a look at your campaign and landing page analytics.
10. Send your trade show results report to sales: updated delegate list, analytics, results of social media “shares”. Don’t keep your communications secret – let your sales team know what effect your marketing has had. If you have a full marketing automation system in place, you can probably find very specific information about the journey your prospects took through your digital marketing, which may in turn help support the in-person conversations you and your sales team ultimately end up having with these prospects.