6 Ways to Maximize Your Social Media Presence at Conferences and Trade Shows

6 actionable ideas to get more people to interact with your company on social media at conferences and trade shows

By Richard Buhn on 20/04/2017
Social media wall for trade shows and conferences

Last month, a couple of Seenspire partners presented and showcased the Social Media Wall to thousands of people at the Digital Signage Expo (DSE) in Las Vegas. DSE is the world’s largest tradeshow of digital display and interactive technologies.

I was able to catch up with Data Call Technologies, one of our partners is Texas that provides content for digital signage. Tim Vance, the company’s CEO stated. “We’re just starting to get unburied from trade show aftermath. Reaching back to leads, getting freight back, etc…, but seeing the growth of our ecosystem, and networking with interested delegates from so many different industries was most exciting. Witnessing their true need for content and content strategies were big takeaways for me. ”

Business conferences and trade shows are prime opportunities to integrate into your social media strategy. For a limited amount of time, you have an open door to interacting with people both in person and online. Consider events like these a free pass to tweet, post, share, like, even use emojis much more than usual. If done right, you can use these events as triggers to exponentially increase your following.

Here are 6 easy tips to get more people to interact with your company on social media at conferences and trade shows:

1. Set up your hashtag and promote it before the event.

Think of a short and easy way people can remember your organization’s presence or contribution to this event. Don’t get stuck. Simple and straightforward will work. Remember that hashtags link to all other posts bearing the same hashtag, so the purpose is to start the conversation and keep it going.

Once you’ve decided on the hashtag, promote it well in advance so you can use the hashtag to get people excited. Build up anticipation and feel free to share minute details documenting preparations. For example, snap a photo of your team building demo model and post the photo with the hashtag. Or ask the simple, yet popular question with your hashtag, “Who’s coming to . . . ?” Posting your company’s event hashtag alongside the overall event hashtag will also increase exposure.

2. Label your giveaways and badges with your hashtag.

Giving away branded merchandise is one way exhibitors leave their mark on the people that visit their booths. More and more, exhibitors are trying new types of branded freebies. Where pens and notepads were once the norm, more valuable giveaways like flash drives, beverage bottles and reusable bags are becoming more common. Labeling these items with your hashtag goes even further in leaving your company imprint. Your hashtag becomes more visible and serves as a friendly nudge to interact with you on social media.

Looking for an option with less commitment to a particular hashtag? Label your representatives’ badges with the hashtag. Encourage your team members to give it a mention when they talk to people stopping by the booth.

3. Use a social media wall.

Sometimes, trade shows and business conferences can become overwhelming for attendees. They’re walking down every aisle, getting bombarded with sales pitches or struggling to absorb a glut of new information. How refreshing would it be for attendees for see themselves on a digital display? Your exhibit space can be the place people are crowding around to enjoy the limelight.

Seenspire’s Social Media Wall allows you to feature user-generated content in addition to your original content. Use your exhibit space for a Social Media Wall that directly reflects your brand personality, in particular, by showcasing images people submit. If you’re familiar with Seenspire’s platform, you’ve seen the beauty of a well-designed channel combining the content types you decide to publish.

4. Join other conversations and invite others

Just like you would at a cocktail party, you wouldn’t limit yourself to starting conversations, would you? You’d likely walk around and join in on existing ones. People would likely invite you to their discussions, and once you felt comfortable enough, you’d also encourage other people to share their insights. Consider social media in the same way. Give comments you like a thumbs up, retweet images your followers would appreciate, and share posts to enrich the dialogue. Feel free to jump in wherever you can contribute your expertise. You’ll gain followers, and more importantly, you’ll engage with people.

5. Making a presentation? Maximize that last slide with your hashtag.

Think back to the last several presentations you attended. Most likely, the last slide stayed up the longest because there was nothing else to put up during questions from the audience. All too often, the last slide gets wasted with a big “Thank you” or “Questions?” smack in the middle of the screen. Speakers sometimes include their contact info and social media handles. Why not take advantage of this prime viewing opportunity? Add your event hashtag to the last slide and see the difference that extra exposure makes.

6. Recap learning lessons every day.

Major industry conferences like the DSE are jampacked and run at least three days long. Participants likely haven’t visited every single booth, workshop or speaker presentation, and may be interested in what they missed. Do them a favor and post a recap on social media.

You’ll accomplish a lot with this easy technique: You’ll show how helpful your organization can be. You’ll make friends with the people you feature. You’ll refine your expertise. And you’ll prove that as an authority in your field, you’re constantly learning new things.

There you have it. Six easy techniques you can start using today. If not today, start planning for your next event.