Trade shows and conferences are exciting to attend. Lots of people to talk to. So many things to look at. New ideas to grasp and evaluate. If you host a conference or promote a show are you using new media to attract attendees, market the event and enhance the experience of those that do attend?
New media, social media and social networking are cost efficient touch points that can be used before, during and after the show to make the event a positive experience for visitors and exhibitors. Use the new web to build a fan base for your show or conference.
- podcasts…audio and video shows available from your website, Facebook and other distribution points like iTunes. Features such as interviews with exhibitors or presenters help build buzz for your event. Short five to ten minute episodes can give rich information to potential attendees that printed summaries in the show guide can’t.
- e-newsletters…rich media embedded in the e-newsletters along with calls to action such as visiting your website.
- social networks…fan pages work by creating a dialogue between you and your audience. Encourage submissions from exhibitors and attendees alike. Photos, video and comments enrich the experience and bring it to life for potential attendees.
- live streaming…set up a web cam and interview exhibitors, visitors and others involved with the show. Take your camera out on the show floor to visit various booths or demonstrations. Break-out sessions can be captured and streamed to viewers on a paid-subscription basis.
- blogs…daily posts along with comments, video, pictures and PowerPoint slide shows keep people up to date during the show and even at the end of the day when attendees want to recap what they saw or what they missed.
- twitter…let followers know what is happening on the show floor and when demonstrations are about to start.
- podcasts…breakout sessions, interviews, PowerPoint slide decks and planning info for the next show.
- blogs…recaps and followups of the previous show or conference. Talk about what is planned for the next show and encourage readers to share their experiences about what they liked, didn’t like and suggestions for the next show.
- video…segments on YouTube, your website and social networking sites recapping exhibitors and presenters. package your sessions as DVDs and sell them after the show to folks who want to take some information home with them and for those who were unable to attend.
Tips for success:
- consistent, persistent and regular messages…e-newsletters, blog postings and video or audio shows need to be continuous. Weekly works well since it keeps your potential attendees engaged. Sporadic messages are easily ignored.
- samples…don’t give away the whole show or conference content. Give a teaser – just enough to attract interest and build buzz.
- listen…use the various social media and social networking channels before, during and after your show to encourage feedback from exhibitors and attendees. Taking advice from these folks will help your show become successful by delivering what they are looking for.
- multiple touch-points…don’t limit yourself to one or two social media channels. Use them all and distribute your content and message a little at a time to many people. New media is about micro-marketing not mass-marketing.