By Janette Speyer and Katrina McNeill
Web Success Team has several clients in the natural food and supplement industries. Most of them attend Natural Products Expo West, the largest such trade show in the world with over 60,000 industry members participating in 2012.
Trade shows offer many marketing opportunities to showcase your products and make valuable business connections. The cost of exhibiting and participating in a trade show is expensive. So if you have a limited marketing budget but need to attend, you can help control your costs and maximize exposure by utilizing social media platforms.
In this article we will share some of the methods we use for our clients to increase visibility — pre-show to lay the groundwork, during the show and at the booth to drive traffic, and post-show to follow-up.
- PRE-SHOW – Drawing attention to your brand: Many conversations about show events, opinions and ideas are shared via social media channels. Use the Twitter Feed to post your show updates and to invite visitors to your booth. For instance, our client is having a book signing by a celebrated author at their booth and we are offering free product samples along with the book. So we are posting these Twitter updates on their feed and inviting attendees to their booth. Bloggers are also a key element in promoting a brand. Giving them special attention and giveaways (to them and special show offers to their readership) if they meet us at the booth for a product review helps promote the brand. We have also joined the trade show group on Facebook and LinkedIn and we are participating in relevant conversations and sharing our opinions to bring more attention to our clients’ products and services.
- AT THE SHOW – Promoting your products: Twitter is the best listening tool to use during the show to post activity timetables. Twitter chats and parties are a great opportunity to promote your products at a very reasonable cost. Offer giveaways that resonate with your audience. You will get plenty of engagement from your target audience.
- POST SHOW - Capitalizing on all marketing efforts: After the show when everyone is back in the office, immediately reach out to your new connections. This is also a good time to promote a blogger giveaway to capitalize on the show buzz. New product promotions should be rolled out and aggressively posted on the social media platforms.
One of our clients is also showcasing a new product at the Expo West Press Event – a great marketing opportunity where we can further promote the brand. This event will allow us to meet with bloggers and press members that will review their new product. We will also display the featured product in the gifting suite and in the exhibitor hall showcase to get more exposure.
As we ramp up for our clients at Natural Products Expo West 2013 this March 8-10, we know the most important activities begin pre-show. Getting the buzz going early and making your presence felt through social media can pay big dividends during and post show. Social media is a marketing must for trade shows and will increase booth traffic, visibility and maximize your trade show ROI. If all this interests you and you would like to learn more, have a read of this helpful article, How Social Marketing Can Fuel Your Trade Show.
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