Exhibitions are valuable ways to connect with customers, but it can be tough to grab attendees’ limited time on the show floor, especially when they already have a game plan in mind.
Show organizers can help their exhibitors by sharing these 14 actions that will help maximize return on investment in your show:
1. Website Updates
A simple first step is for exhibitors to update their website so that it mentions your upcoming event on any page a relevant visitor is likely to land on. They also need to ensure that their events page is up to date.
2. Promote on Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all excellent platforms for getting an exhibitor’s message out to an established audience, and paid ads may also be useful for spreading the word further. Exhibitors shouldn’t hesitate to schedule posts promoting your event every week on each platform with a call to action.
3. Send Personal Invites
Although generalized marketing is important, nothing persuades quite like a personal invite. Exhibitors should identify specific people they would like to attend your exhibition, and send them a personalized invitation.
4. Advertise in Trade Publications
Putting an advertisement that highlights their participation in an exhibition into trade publications is an excellent way of reaching people who they know are definitely interested in what they have to offer.
5. Work with Event Organizers
Tell your exhibitors if there are any opportunities to get a mention in your event literature. Moreover, there may be other opportunities, such as speaking roles, they can negotiate with you.
6. Share Preview Photos
One of the best ways to build anticipation for your event is for exhibitors to give their audience a taste of what is to come. They can post pictures or teaser photos of their exhibit design to Instagram to get people talking.
7. Write a Blog Post
If the exhibitor has a blog, it’s the perfect place to promote participation in an exhibition. Writing A post that details what happens behind the scenes can help to make the audience feel closer to the brand and generate interest in the show.
8. Create a Twitter Hashtag
Twitter hashtags are a great way for exhibitors to promote their participation in your exhibition and track discussion about it. The hashtag should be completely unique, short, and easy to type.
9. Offer Exclusive Deals
Exhibitors can reward customer loyalty by offering exclusive deals to existing customers who visit their stand. For instance, exhibitors could send them an email with a discount code to use at the exhibition.
10. Record a Promotional Video
The popularity of video content has exploded in recent years and 92 percent of mobile video consumers share videos with others, according to Hubspot. Film a promotional video and upload it to YouTube for easy sharing.
11. Run a Facebook or Twitter Competition
Exhibitors can create a promotional post on social media and run a giveaway competition, selecting a random winner from all of those who like, share, or retweet their post.
12. Create a Poll on Twitter
Twitter's polling option is a quick and easy way of gaining audience insight, while helping to spread the word. Exhibitors can build interest by asking people what they want to see at the exhibition, or give them a choice between two or three options.
13. Use LinkedIn to Target Specific Contacts
LinkedIn is the best social media site for business contacts—why wouldn’t exhibitors use it to target specific individuals? They can send personalized messages inviting contacts to attend and visit their booth.
14. Send a Reminder Text Message
Finally, exhibitors can use the contact information they have to send a text message reminding people about your event and directing them specifically to their booth’s location.
Reno Macri is a founder and director of international exhibition company Enigma Visual Solutions, specializing in event branding, office refurbishment, retail designs, interiors, graphic productions, signage systems, and modular exhibition stands. He specializes in experiential marketing and event productions, and enjoys sharing his thoughts on upcoming marketing ideas and design trends. Follow him on Twitter.