Social media expert Nicky Kriel reveals how you can use Twitter to shine at this summer’s trade shows
Twitter is a natural fit for trade shows: it’s instant, easy to do on the go, and a terrific way to start conversations with people who are attending the event whether they are an exhibitor or a visitor. Use Twitter wisely during this summer’s big trade fairs to make sure you make the most of attending. Here’s how to make sure you stand out for the right reasons and how to use it to meet the right people during the show.
Before the event:
Don’t wait until you’re at the event to start tweeting. Find out the hashtag and Twitter account for the trade show. The accounts for this summer’s three big outdoor retail shows are listed at the end but keep an eye out for hashtags that become popular closer to the time.
Here’s a checklist for before the event:
- See who is following the trade show account and who it’s following: these accounts are likely to be past attendees or planning to attend this year’s show.
- Create a Twitter List with people who are attending the event with the name of the trade show in the title. Add a description to the List, for example, ‘People to meet at X trade show’.
- Tweet using the hashtag for the event and find people who are using the hashtag. You can simply search on Twitter or you can use a tool like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to monitor people using the hashtag.
- Arrange beforehand to meet people at specific times for a coffee during the show.
- If you are exhibiting at the event, add the hashtag to your bio. This will help you to be found by people attending the event.
- Make sure you schedule regular tweets with the relevant hashtags and trade show’s Twitter account leading up to the event.
- For exhibitors, ask people to pop in your stand to say hello. You could even offer a special bonus for people who use a unique Twitter code. If you start conversations with people before they attend they are more likely to visit you during the event. Why not create your own hashtag that you can use together with the official hashtag?
During the event:
Make sure that you take a spare battery pack for your smartphone or can charge up your tablet. You don’t want to miss opportunities to connect.
During the event your priorities are:
- Let people know that you are at the trade show.
- Monitor conversations about the event to look for opportunities.
- Arrange to meet people.
Schedule tweets ahead of time stating that you are at the event, using the hashtag and trade show’s Twitter account. Trade fairs are busy, and it is easy to forget to Tweet until it’s too late.
Think photos and videos for on the day. Pictures get more retweets and interactions than plain text. If you want to meet people, then you need to take selfies so that people will recognise you. Take selfies with people you meet on stands using their account name. They are likely to retweet you and it helps you to remember people after the event. Did you know that you can do live video from Twitter? It’s a fantastic way to get attention at the show.
Make sure that you have someone responsible for monitoring your Twitter feed and the hashtag during the event so that you don’t miss opportunities. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be on your stand, as when it gets busy on the stand you don’t want to appear more interested in your smartphone than visitors. It is also useful to have someone who can move around the trade show taking pictures and videos. The last thing you want is to lose out because you didn’t see a Tweet during the event.
Take photos of your stand and let people know where you are. Why not encourage people to take selfies at your stand by running a competition? Make sure your Twitter username is easily visible and give people props to make it more fun.
After the event:
Spend time to make sure you connect with everyone that mentions that they were at the event. Start a conversation with them about the trade show and ask them what their highlights were. Even if you didn’t manage to meet them in real life, it’s a fantastic opportunity to create new relationships and you might get to meet them at the next trade fair.
Useful Twitter information for this summer’s big trade shows:
OutDoor Show 17-20 June in Friedrichshafen
Hashtag for the event: #OutDoorFN
Twitter account: @Outdoor_FN
Outdoor Trade Show (OTS) 3-5 July in Manchester
Hashtags for the event: #OTS2018 #BeeThere #Manchester
Twitter account: @OTS2018
The venue’s Twitter account: @eventcity
Kendal Outdoor Retail Show (KORS) 10-11 July
Hashtags for the event: #KORS2018 #Kendal
Twitter account: @KORSevent