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If you’re heading to one of the many upcoming shows, there’ll be a lot of different things on your mind. What is the new post-pandemic normal? Do I hand out business cards? How do I make the most of this opportunity? Well, if it’s the latter, I’m here to help.

In the lead up to most trade shows, organisers send out marketing packs to ensure those who are exhibiting or taking part in some way are given the opportunity to make the most of the show and any exposure it offers their business.

In this marketing pack, you’ll be given everything you need to utilise the event across your own social media, including hashtags and handles, key informations such as times and speaker lists, and any designs that accompany that information.

If you’re feeling creative enough, you can take this information and make it your own, with your own branding and styling. If not, don’t worry, it’s better to use what’s given than not do anything at all.

Now that you’ve made the most of the organiser’s marketing materials, you’re on your own! But what next? We’ve listed some ‘top tips’ when it comes to making the most of trade show social media, and being a part of the online conversation.

Making the most of hashtags and handles

Firstly, research key hashtags. Most events (especially trade shows) will have a hashtag that everyone uses in the lead up, during the show and in the aftermath to group the conversation and allow posts to be easily found. Find out what it is (perhaps visit the organiser’s social media pages) and write it down. Now make sure you add it to every post. Then there’s handles. Handles are a way of tagging others into your posts. The more people and businesses you tag into your online content, the more chance it has of being re-shared. But remember, often handles can differ per platform so make sure to double check.

Engage with VIPs online

As I mentioned above, tagging people into posts offers the opportunity for your content to be seen by more people. A way to do this is to identify VIPs (otherwise known as influencers or those with a large following) and make it your mission to engage with them in some way during the show. Whether you’re live tweeting their discussing on business in a post-pandemic world, or taking a photo together on a stand you both love, the VIP will be notified of your tag and given the option of re-sharing your content with their audience too (so make it interesting!) Don’t forget to research the company they work for and tag them too – the more tags, the more chance of a re-share!

Always add photos or videos

Social media posts with photos or videos are statistically proven to be shared more frequently than text alone so make sure to add a visual element to your posts. Not only is it much nicer to look at and read, but it paints a picture that words often can’t.

Keep it horizontal

If you’re unsure of where to start when taking photos and videos, just remember to keep your phone horizontal – that way you can use the photo across all platforms and it’s much easier to crop a horizontal photo down! If you’d like to make the most of the story element across Facebook, Instagram and more recently, Twitter, then by all means take your photo vertical, but remember it’ll be difficult to use this photo for an actual post.

Tell a compelling story

Last but not least, make it interesting! Remember that the story you tell is how your company will be remembered by potential customers online and that more unique your content, the more chance it has of being shared and engaged with by others.

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