Today I gave some advice to a client on how to assist their team at their industry’s big trade show event. B2B clients in particular can struggle when asked to think outside the box, at least when it comes to marketing. They are great when asked to about talk their products or services and even the industry. When asked to find a creative way to connect potential consumers is when they can find challenges. Especially when you start to enter the real estate of trade shows. After multiple successes and failures with B2B here is what we have executed successfully, which in-turn forced us to create our own trade show playbook. Some things you will find in our playbook:
1. Streaming the Hash tag
We have finally reached a point of Twitter penetration that a conference or trade show is almost sure to have a hash tag. Have your development team create a live feed of the conversation that takes place via the hash tag. It is also possible to pull the links provided in those tweets and store them permanently on the page.
2. Store the Assets
If there isn’t a central page to house the unique content and offers, step up and take the responsibility. This is a slam dunk to get you links. Even if it is simply a directory of the booths / presenters it will provide practical application for most of the patrons, who inevitably, will want this information again.
3. Run a PPC Campaign
If this is your “super bowl” then borrowing or leveraging the equity of the search volume should be a no brainer. Think about who is searching for this? At least some volume is your potential client, correct? So put together a compelling case as to why they should talk to you and/or see you. For a great deal of B2Bers, there is at least some face time required before a transaction can take place. So imagine the head start you can create by getting a little information before they get to the event. You can set-up appointments, raffles, prizes and on and on. It can pre-qualify for both parties making your time more effective.
4. Get in the Conversation Socially
Find out who is going to be there, and start engaging with them socially. On twitter, start following and make a list. On Facebook, like the pages and explore. This can do a number of things for you; start strong professional relationships, give you an idea of who is doing what, but perhaps most importantly it gives you the opportunity to be involved and be seen doing so. That involvement may be the difference in getting people to converse with you and your company while you are at the event. It can turn your booth or presentation from an unknown to a must see.
5. Create unique Content while you are there
Sometimes the easiest thing to do is just offer a summary of what you have witnessed or discussed. Often times you will share the same thoughts others might have but haven’t documented. This is what makes your content shareable. Sharing is what drives links and awareness. Bring a hand held video and interview people, whether you know them or not. That content can be used and reused.
6. Summarize Everything
Finally after it is all said and done, be the company or the person to wrap it in a bow. Chances are most won’t. If you have taken the time to do the 5 previous steps, then your unique content and perspective will be sought after by attendees and possible those who put on the show. That exposure and voice can push your company and name into the driver’s seat of expertise. Many have claimed science is primarily documentation.