By Joe Balich
This post continues our series on making the most of your next event presence outside of merely hosting an exhibit on the show floor. In part one of the “Beyond the Booth” series, we explain how media engagement and speaking opportunities can expand your message to an even larger event audience. In our second edition, we explore additional promotional opportunities stemming from event awards and social media.
In addition to speaker sessions and vendor exhibits, many conferences feature an award program that highlights the industry’s most innovative, exciting solutions and/or individuals. Aside from simply receiving a trophy, winning often includes enhanced exposure via the event’s communication channels (website, press releases, show dailies, etc.), onsite award “showcases” as well as award logos for the winning solutions that can be included in associated marketing materials. Moreover, attending press and analysts will likely seek your group out to learn more about the solution and potentially feature it in a post-event write up.
As you are working to secure your booth presence for an event, also check with the event organizers for information on a potential awards program. Similar to submitting for a speaking opportunity, deadlines are typically set at least a few months ahead of the actual event date so plan accordingly.
Social media is quickly becoming the primary source for news and information for tradeshow attendees and exhibitors. You’d be hard pressed to find a show that doesn’t take advantage of social media to provide timely event updates to its attendees. Often through a dedicated hashtag, attendees can stay up-to-date on all the activities surrounding a show.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to leverage an event’s social media presence to highlight your own message and onsite activities. Develop a social media plan, complete with a calendar of pre-determined posts and content, for use before, during and after the show. When constructing each post, be sure to include the appropriate event hashtag and your booth location so attendees scanning social media will see your message and know where to find you if interested. Furthermore, don’t forget to monitor the event hashtag feed for chances to engage attendees/media directly.
Looking for more ways to optimize your future event presence? Keep an eye out for part three of our “Beyond the Booth” series!