In my daily reading, I came across a blog post on the MarketingProfs website called "A Guide to Using Social Media at Tradeshows." There's some good advice there about how companies can start using social media to make the most of the dollars they're spending on trade shows.

In our work as a digital marketing consultant, we have several clients who regularly attend trade shows. It got me thinking: Are there any clever, cutting-edge, out-of-the-norm techniques that brands might be able to use to build awareness before, during and after trade shows?

Here's what I came up with. Keep in mind that some of these are somewhat non-conventional. Can you use any of these for your next trade show?


  • Take a 30-second video of yourself with your cell phone explaining who you are, what company you represent, and what people will be able to learn at the trade show if they see you there. Give them a reason to visit the booth. Upload this to YouTube and post it to your company social media profiles.
  • If you're rolling out a new product, service, or have an exciting announcement at the trade show, video a teaser with your cell phone at the trade show booth and share it on social media.
  • Are you letting people know that you're going to be at the trade show or conference? Post on social profiles at least every other day that you'll be at the trade show and how to find you (booth #, for example).
  • Create a landing page on your website that allows people to download a brochure or company profile and RSVP to see you at the event, and promote it on social media.
  • I like this one from the MarketingProfs article about using hashtags at the event:

"Begin tweeting about the tradeshow well in advance, and if possible include the official Twitter name or hashtag for the event. On the subject of hashtags, if possible find out what the official or most common hashtags applicable to the tradeshow will be. Essentially, you don't want to be the only company there using, for example, #NYCExpo, when everybody else is using #ExpoNYC."

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During the Trade Show

  • Use your cell phone or a video camera to film current customers that come by your trade booth giving a testimonial about what it's like to work with your company. Edit it and use it on your website, your blog, and in social media.
  • If you're speaking at the trade show or conference, you might as well get as much mileage as you can out of it. Have a colleague video it, and be sure to put your presentation slides on Slideshare. Of course, you can then blog, tweet, or post to LinkedIn as well.
  • Another good one from the MarketingProfs article -- bring the show to those who can't be there: "Taking photographs and recording videos of any events you may have at your stall, and posting them as quickly as possible, is a great way of bringing the tradeshow to them. It's worth noting that product demonstration videos have proven very successful on YouTube in recent years. Perhaps the most impressive example of this is UltraTech's 2012 video showcasing its "hydrophobic" spray; the video received over 5 million views in less than six months."

Here's that UltraTech video mentioned in the excerpt above:

After the Trade Show

  • Go through the business cards you collected and invite people to connect on LinkedIn after you speak with them. Put your LinkedIn address on your business card so people are encouraged to connect with you.
  • If you spoke at a conference or trade show, don't forget send a follow-up email. Send a link to the slides or a YouTube video of the presentation to your contacts after the trade show.
  • Use social media to research your new leads. LinkedIn is a great place to find out some handy conversation starters, like things you may have in common with them, to rekindle conversations with leads.
  • Write down all of the questions you answered during the trade show or conference and write a blog post that answers each question.

Why Put This Into Practice?

The expense of attending a trade show requires that you come away with sales qualified leads that are ready to act. These tips can draw more people to your booth or presentation, and can increase the number of interactions you have on the expo floor.

These clever social media promotion tips will also help your company stand out in the crowd, as many companies simply will overlook social media.

Think of it this way. If you can connect with 15 new people on LinkedIn while at the trade show, you can export your LinkedIn connections and get their email addresses, then follow up via email or via a nurture campaign. That's 15 new sales opportunities (though you may come away with many more).

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