How to Take Advantage of Twitter and Make the Most of Your Trade Show Experience
Social media has an important role during industry trade shows and conferences. Twitter, especially, has taken off. This platform lets participants communicate with each other no matter how large the venue is, and lets organizers keep tabs on what’s going on. Here are five tips for using Twitter to make the most of your trade show experience.
Establish your account
First thing is first: if you want to use Twitter to enrich your trade show experience, you have to have a Twitter account. Many companies sign up for Twitter, then forget about it until the event begins. To get the most from your feed, establish your account in the weeks or months leading up to your trade show event. This will help you build your followers list, meet others in the industry, share news about your company and become familiar with the platform before you head to the trade show.
Use a Hashtag
Many big name events establish a hash tag for their trade show as soon as they begin planning to pump up participants and keep track of pre-trade show or conference chatter. Find out what the official hashtag is for the event as well as any “unofficial” hashtags that participants may be using. This will help you meet other industry professionals and attendees and find out what’s going on with event planning. Additionally, you should create a hashtag for your own company, too (especially if you’ll be there with a booth, product or giveaway.) Use your own hashtag in combination with the official event hashtag to tie the two together, and make sure you ask your followers to follow your own hashtag for specific updates during the trade show. Use the hashtag consistently, and ask your followers to share the Twitter hashtag with others to build even more buzz.
Live tweeting is a great way to create some buzz for the conference or trade show and provide insight into the event for other professionals who weren’t able to attend. Have your smart phone, tablet or laptop ready during keynote speeches, as you’re manning your booth, or as you’re walking around meeting new people. Occasionally, throw in commentary or links of your own, or a photo from the event. The goal is to make your followers feel like they are there, as well as to capture things happening on other areas of the trade show that might be of interest to someone else following along! Live tweeting works best when you have more than one Tweeter. Use a platform like Hootsuite (free on your computer, smart phone and tablet) to schedule tweets and alternative tweeters on the same account.
Advertise your booth
Use Twitter to advertise your own booth presence at the trade show. You can use your own hashtag as well as the official hashtag to promote giveaways, demos and company information. Fun promotional giveaways are fun, too. For instance, tell your followers that the first person who comes to your booth with a “code word” (that you’ve told them through your Twitter stream) wins a prize.
Make sure other participants at the trade show know you’re on Twitter by printing it on your business cards, flyers and nametags. Exchange Twitter handles with new contacts and engage them as soon as you can. It’s a great way to make connections during the trade show that can continue far beyond.
About the Author: Paul Russo has been writing about a variety of social media and trade show topics online for companies like Nimlok Online for over 10 years. When not writing, you can find Paul watching sports or playing disc golf.