When it comes to tradeshows, the focus for marketers tends to be on developing the creative for the booth and collateral, while the sales team is focused on customer appointments. Taking some time to look at your tradeshow strategy through an EOP (earned, owned, paid) lens can help you get more mileage out of these big budget events.
Below are some suggestions for prepping for tradeshows from an EOP perspective.
Industry tradeshows are often attended by trade media. Whether you’re in the tech industry (think CES), fashion or even the packaging and dispensing business, tradeshows are a time for everyone to get a pulse on what’s new, what’s trending and what are the important conversations happening in the industry, and that includes everyone from suppliers, manufacturers, consumers and even media.
It’s worth checking the show’s website for media partners or asking the organizer if you can have access to the list of attending media. If you already have established relationships with your industry’s trade media, sending a quick note to ask if they’ll be in attendance is a good catalyst for contact.
This is also a great time to brush up on media training with your team, as interviews at tradeshows are often conducted on the spot at your booth or on the tradeshow floor, and these may be for print, online or even video articles.
For video interviews in particular, you’ll want to spend some extra time prepping your spokesperson(s), as it’s a bit different than conducting in-studio or pre-taped interviews. The live action and bustle of the tradeshow floor adds an element of exciting energy to video interviews, but they can also be very loud and distracting for those being interviewed. Remind your spokesperson to stay engaged with the interviewer and try not to be distracted by activity happening around the booth. Wandering eyes and lack of focus will be obvious in the final product. And while it’s always important to speak clearly and at the right volume, it’s even more imperative in this setting since the surrounding noise can drown out the interview audio. Lastly, make sure your spokesperson has their messaging and talking points down pat. Since these interviews are happening “live,” there won’t be much room for editing or doing multiple takes.
A lot of thought goes into the messaging and theme of the booth, but there’s only so much copy you can fit on the walls of your booth and banner displays. Your owned channels–blog, website and social–are the places where you can expand upon that messaging. Having a dedicated tradeshow landing page that people can go to for more details about your services and products can be helpful for directing people to more information, and including a form is a great way to capture leads for sales to follow up with after the show.
On social media, in addition to the typical things like using the show’s hashtag and posting photos of your booth, be sure to engage with media and attendees at the event on social as well. Twitter tends to be the best platform for doing this. Take advantage of the photo tagging capabilities on Twitter and tag visitors to your booth as a way to get your messages seen and re-tweeted by partners or others in your sphere of influence.
Amplifying your content (for instance, your landing page and social posts, from above) via paid social is a great way to extend your content’s reach beyond your follower base, and to layer in some specific industry and location targeting to reach the show attendees. We’ve also seen clients have some success with targeted display ads that are served to tradeshow attendees via venue geofencing. You’ll just want to make sure your team has a good call-to-action in place for people who land on the ads, and a good strategy for nurturing those leads post-show as well.
We know that tradeshows are a lot of work and big line items in marketers’ budgets, but adding some tactical elements from an EOP perspective can go a long way toward extending your brand’s momentum during and after the show as well.