How To

How to maximise a trade show

by Rachel Sharpe |

When it comes to networking events, trade shows and conferences can provide ample opportunity for businesses to represent themselves, or for a PR agency to show off what their clients have to offer. Following our visit to the Farnborough Airshow on Wednesday 18th July, on behalf of our manufacturing and technology clients, we thought we’d take the opportunity to give our top five tips on how to maximise a trade show.

1. Know your facts

Before heading to the conference, it’s important to make sure you know your facts. By making sure you’re up to date on the you’re working in, for example, you could familiarise yourself with any keynote speakers or the prominent figures in the industry, and contact attending journalists. This will enable you to show off the best you have to offer. Knowing all of this ahead of time means that you can have meaningful conversations with the rest of the conference attendees, and can confidently support your client on the stand and on social media.

2. Make use of social media

Be sure your client is part of the conversation by keeping your fingers on the social media pulse. Live tweeting throughout the conference is a great way to maximise networking events and allows you to communicate with other people in the industry, and will show you off as knowledgeable in the area. Mentioning the keynote speakers and sharing the parts of their talks that inspired you could give you a boost in social media reach and engagement, allowing more people to find you, and if you need more support, working with a pr agency can help you post more frequently to your social media channels. Cultivating excitement and sharing news are a great way to build relationships with potential customers.

3. Stand out from the crowd

Giving out freebies on your stand at the show is pretty much a given – but where most people will be offering pens, notepads and business cards, think about where your client could really stand out from the crowd. At spottydog communications, we love to let people know that it was ‘sweet’ to meet them by handing out jelly beans in a branded box – everybody loves jelly beans! You definitely don’t need a PR agency to do this, take the opportunity to offer something that will be useful, fun or memorable, to you ensure the conference delegates will visit your stand and – even more importantly – will remember you.

4. Creating content

Trade shows and conferences can be opportune places to capture videos and pictures for use on social media and email communications. It’s a great opportunity to utilise content marketing, to get people clicking, sharing and talking about your latest news.  Your content could be advice, a brand story or simply a video about your services. If it is of genuine interest, people will share it.

5. Get networking

To make a conference or trade show truly beneficial, be sure to talk to lots of people. Networking with the right people will not only help you build a list of worthy prospects, but if you know who you’re planning to meet to you will be better placed to understand what communications strategy you should take. It’s worth making sure that any interactions you have with delegates on the day are valuable and memorable, so that your business is the one that comes to mind the next time somebody requires your services.