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Before you haul in your gear and set up that booth, here are some things you should do in advance to market your presence at the show and make sure it’s a success.   Find out what you can do before the event to promote your participation and gain exposure, leads and opportunities.

1. Promote Your Participation

Even the best event will fail to deliver if no one knows you are there.  Often two-thirds or more of trade show participants already know what booths they want to visit before they arrive.  Make sure your current and prospective customers know where you will be!  Include details like “See us at booth 212 at the Expo!” in news releases, ads, emails, and social posts leading up to the show.

2. Ring Some Bells (and Numbers)

Start making calls to your top customers and prospects about a month before the show.  Schedule a time for them to visit you at your booth, and confirm those appointments by email or phone 7-10 days before the show.   Make sure you have some “guaranteed” visitors.  This will help your booth stay busy and will be a benefit to the event itself and other vendors as well.

3.  Press It Out

Issue a press release to trade publications, papers, and other media outlets that will be covering the show.  Note something newsworthy about your booth – a new product release or other important news.  Be sure to include photos and details.  Contact local papers or radio stations and run an ad that mentions your participation and piques interest by offering a teaser or benefit for those who come visit your booth.    Contact reporters or others who write/blog and offer an interview with your company about your participation in the trade show or industry trends.

4. Get Social Before (& During) the Trade Show

Tweet and post reasons to visit you at the show.  Mention special offers, new products or new service offerings.  Give information on contests, give-a-ways or other items that will increase interest in your exhibit.  Share these posts for about a month ahead of the show.

Find and use the hashtag (#) for your expo or show to make sure your posts show in related threads and searches.  Create a video before the show inviting your customers to come check out what you’re doing at the trade show.

During the show, post photos and videos of your booth.  Let your followers know where you will be and why they should come see you at the event.

5. Wrap it up with a Bang!

After the show, write an article, newsletter or blog to recap the events and offers of the show.  Mention and thank those who helped you with the event, thank those who stopped by and visited your exhibit, and share your event news.  Include photos of exhibits, demonstrations, or highlights from the event.   For extra “oomph” add testimonials, quotes and share what’s coming down the pipeline next.  You may have potential customers who couldn’t make it to the event, but still want to keep up with developments.   After-show exposure increases leads and opportunities.

How will you utilize social media to promote your next trade show event?

Related:  Creating a Strong Trade Show Display

 

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Cindy is the founding President at 17blue Digital Agency. She's passionate about helping businesses create traction for their brands, reach their goals and make a difference in their communities.