With more businesses relying on various forms of social media then ever before, tradeshow marketing through this media has seen explosive growth. While Facebook continues to be a tremendous favorite with companies of all size, newer social media venues such as Foursquare and Twitter are becoming influential ways to market booth attractions. Viral advertising, blogs and podcasts will be used in new and more innovative ways as advertisers and savvy business owners micro-target their specific demographics.
One way in which social media will expand its place in the tradeshow marketing arena is by using interactive activities that promote brand loyalty. Incentives and genuine dialogue between businesses and their customers will help to create complete communities of loyal followers that will leveragesocial media sites into new platforms for convention marketing.
Using Social Media Before, During and After The Tradeshow
Facebook is the most popular form of social media currently being used for trade show marketing. This omnipresent social media platform has more members than the population of the United States. You can generate an immediate buzz by creating a company Facebook page and announcing your appearance at upcoming tradeshows. The beauty is in its simplicity – you’ll soon discover that your interested clients will become your marketing platform by posting comments and forwarding your information to others.
Blogs are another form of interactive social media that encourage dialogue that can contain incoming and outgoing links from your blog to other sites. This simple form of communication with your customers can immediately expand the reach of your convention marketing dollars at no additional cost to you.
YouTube can also help to create interest if you are offering a new product or service create a demonstration video that can be used as a teaser to draw potential visitors to your booth to learn more.
Post audio or video clips from the tradeshow floor on Facebook and/or YouTube. Choose short sound bites or brief videos that will encourage customers to visit your booth to check out the interesting tradeshow attractions you’ve given them a glimpse of online. Let potential clients know you have experts on hand to answer questions and entice them with booth attractions that make your booth a “must” as they navigate the convention floor.
Offer anyone who mentions your YouTube video or Facebook page or who comments on one of your threads an incentive when they stop by your tradeshow booth. It could be a personalized consultation, an extra gift, or any other enticement that makes them feel like they’ve earned something extra simply by following your Facebook updates.
Did you know that more than half of all event planners and tradeshow experts now use Twitter updates to keep interest high throughout an event? If you’re going to be doing specific product demonstrations throughout the day, tweet your followers to give them a heads up when something is about to happen so they won’t miss a thing.
Partnering via hyperlinks with other, non-competitor companies, that will also be in attendance at the convention is yet another great way to reach untapped prospects with your tradeshow marketing.
After you’ve packed up the products that you have just showcased and are headed back to the office, you can cement new relationships with anyone who visited your tradeshow booth by following up on your tradeshow marketing through social media. Send out a quick “thanks for stopping by” message via Twitter or post an update on Facebook that mentions the success of your booth. Post a brief, follow-up questionnaire to gauge how people responded to your products, services and the tradeshow attractions that you used to generate increased traffic. With this feedback, your staff can gain valuable insight that you can use to determine the results of your recent show. And of course, remind your new contacts to visit your website for product news and updates any time!
Another trend that’s already seeing enormous returns is green tradeshow marketing. These efforts will appeal to your prospects with environmental and ecological concerns. As consumer and business confidence continues to rise, businesses will cement customer loyalty by touting their own role in creating a better world through green tradeshow marketing.
Using green tradeshow materials and attractions such as eco-friendly gifts like solar powered pedometers or biodegradable pens will enhance your business’ image. Whether companies are looking for promotional items that are organic, green, or recycled, the response from appreciative consumers is sure to be positive. Demonstrating proper stewardship of natural resources and an awareness of the importance of green living will enhance tradeshow marketing efforts and a company’s image.
Add a Regional Appeal to Your Show Attendance
Tradeshow experts have noticed that the most promising promotional products and tradeshow attractions seem to be those that use an interesting blend of universal and regional facets. It is believed that more tradeshow marketing dollars will be spent in 2011 on promotional items and convention marketing efforts that are regional in nature.
Consumers are responding well to green products and culturally conscious initiatives while appreciating the distinctive touch of gifts or promotions that are powerful reminders of the region. The combination may be tricky, but a skillful touch and some careful thought as to how to embrace the distinctive region of each tradeshow venue can generate gold star results in tradeshow marketing.
The Gaming Advantage
While most companies aren’t going to design their own online video game, many businesses are jumping on the game playing bandwagon. Whether you decide to offer scratch-off cards as promotional giveaways or develop a buyer incentive program that requires some sort of game play these types of tradeshow attraction offer interactive participation that offers a bigger-payoff.
Lets face it educating potential customers and holding their interest at tradeshows is challenging. The smart convention marketing planner is the one who will make learning about their company’s products and services rewarding and fun with booth attractions that feature game play.
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About IGM Creative Group
IGM Creative Group provides advertising solutions, marketing strategy and web development for Fortune 500, mid-market and small businesses.
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Contact by phone at 973.709.1126
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