Your trade show is just a few months away and you're knee-deep in the stages of planning your biggest or smallest event of the year. To make sure your event is a success, you will need a great marketing and promotional strategy to increase attendance and boost ticket sales. In this blog post, we highlight promotional ideas that you can use when planning your next trade show.
Trade show season is almost upon us and exhibit halls around the world will soon be filled with attendees.
As an event organizer, your ultimate goal is to make sure tickets are sold out and you have enough space to accommodate attendees. Having a solid marketing and public relations strategy is the key to driving ticket sales and increasing attendance.
We’ve developed a list of five trade show promotion ideas your company can use to promote its upcoming tradeshow or conference and skyrocket ticket sales.
Pushing out a press release to promote the trade show in advance
Great publicists know how to generate publicity for their events. Sometimes traditional public relations tactics like publishing press releases and pitching reporters are just what you need to get the word out about your event.
As an event organizer, your goal is to gain as much publicity for your event as possible. Before the trade show, publish a press release announcing the date, location, and speaker line up.
This is a great way to kick off some momentum for your event and drive early bird ticket registrations.
To help exhibitors and sponsors garner media coverage for participating in your trade show, offer to provide them with a list to media contacts that will be in attendance.
This will help exhibitors and sponsors book media interviews with reporters on-site to gain publicity for their brand. Also, have a space reserved away from the noisy showroom floor where reporters can conduct meetings in private.
Using social media to engage with attendees
Social media is a crucial component that is often overlooked but needed to pull off a successful trade show. When done right, you can intimately connect with your attendees before, during, and post-event.
Use social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to drive attendee engagement. Here are a few ways you can use each social media channel to promote your trade show.
Twitter is a popular channel that people look at to receive live updates and to chime in on the latest news.
Creating a branded hashtag for your event will help increase your brand awareness and track the conversations had on Twitter during the trade show. You’ll be able to see what people are saying and help drive attendee engagement.
Instagram’s new IGTV and Instagram Live features are a great way to use long-form video content to broaden your reach and captive new audiences. IGTV allows Instagram users to create and share interactive video content up to an hour-long on their channels.
Instagram Live launched in 2016 and allows a user to broadcast live video to their followers in real-time. Both features are growing in popularity. Using these features, you'll be able to showcase your event content right in the palms of your followers’ hands.
A fun way to increase brand awareness and drive last-minute ticket sales is to have your speakers host Instagram Live takeovers. Each week you can have influencers take over your channel to talk about the upcoming trade show or conference on your account.
This guarantees that you’ll reach your existing followers and the influencers' followers as well. This content can be saved on your YouTube channel and in your Instagram highlights for viewing later.
For many B2B marketers, LinkedIn is the primary channel used to promote events. LinkedIn has so many great features for businesses that are looking to reach their target audience.
Using LinkedIn’s paid features, you’ll be able to promote your event right in the inbox and news feed of prospective attendees. LinkedIn InMail allows you to upload a list of email addresses of target prospects so you can deliver content to their LinkedIn inbox.
LinkedIn also has a sponsored content feature that allows you to target specific industries and persons who you want to attend your event with messaging and ads in their news feed.
Utilizing email marketing to further promote your brand
Many people may think that email marketing is a thing of the past. However, email marketing is still a great tactic to use to increase booth traffic and drive ticket sales.
With the right timing and messaging, you can captivate the attention of prospective attendees right in their email inbox.
It’s critical that you identify your target audience, build or purchase an email list of prospective attendees, and determine the best timeline for sending email campaigns.
You don’t want to overload their email inboxes with messages from your brand, so be strategic about the amount you send. You can offer special discount rates for people who register through email to drive early bird registrations.
Developing a content marketing strategy to promote trade show before and after the event
Leveraging thought leadership content is a great way to promote your brand before, during, and after the trade show. Your team can publish blog posts leading up to the event to generate some pre-conference buzz.
This will give attendees an insider’s point of view of what to expect if they attend.
Blog posts are also great mediums to use to provide value-added content from industry influencers and speakers who will be attending the trade show.
Each week collaborate with an external author to publish content surrounding trends leading up to the show.
Promoting doesn’t end when the trade show is over
The event promotion doesn’t have to stop once the show is over. Your team can use all of the tactics mentioned above to recap the event and thank attendees for coming.