Last Updated on September 9, 2023 by SWHA Team

Over the years, trade shows have proven to be a valuable platform for businesses to showcase their products, services and ideas. It offers an excellent opportunity for brands to network with potential partners, customers, and competitors, all in one event. However, as technology continues to reshape the business landscape, the need to integrate digital marketing with trade show strategies becomes more apparent.

Most trade shows target specific audiences, making it easy for companies to reach prospects interested in their products and services. With digital marketing, businesses can further enhance their reach and exposure by promoting their trade show participation through online channels like social media, email newsletters, and website promotions.

Integrating digital marketing with trade show strategies has emerged as a game-changer for many businesses. Here are some ways digital marketing can be leveraged to enhance your trade show strategy.

Pre-Trade Show Promotion

Pre-trade show promotion refers to the marketing and promotion that takes place leading up to the actual trade show event. This is an important aspect of a company’s trade show strategy, as it is key to build hype and excitement around the company’s participation in the event. It can also help attract potential clients to the company’s booth or other events it may be involved in during the trade show.

Digital marketing offers a variety of tools and techniques that can be used to promote a company’s participation in a trade show.

Here are a few examples.

Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are powerful marketing tools that allow companies to reach a wide audience quickly and easily. Prior to a trade show, companies can use social media to promote their participation in the event, highlight any special events or promotions that will be taking place, and encourage potential clients to visit their booth.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another digital marketing tool that can be used to effectively promote a company’s participation in a trade show. Companies can send targeted emails to potential clients and industry connections, highlighting their involvement in the event and any special promotions or events they will be offering.

Website Updates

Updating a company’s website to prominently feature their participation in a trade show, along with any special events or promotions, can also be an effective pre-trade show promotion tool. This ensures that potential clients who are researching the trade show or the company ahead of time will see the company’s participation and be more likely to visit their booth.

Content Marketing

Content marketing can be a powerful tool to educate your audience about your products and services. By creating informative blog posts, white papers, and videos, you can establish your business as an industry leader and attract potential customers to your booth.

Search Engine Optimization

Optimizing your website and content for search engines can help you rank higher in search results and drive more traffic to your website. This can increase your visibility and generate leads before the trade show event.

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Video Marketing

Video marketing is a popular and effective tool that can be used to promote your participation in the event. Create a short 30-second video highlighting what attendees can expect from your booth and share it on social media, your website, and in your email marketing campaigns.

Partner with Other Businesses

One of the best ways to extend your reach and attract a broader audience is to partner with other businesses that have similar interests or target customers. Collaborate on pre-show promotion activities such as co-marketing campaigns or webinars.

Why is Pre-Trade Show Promotion Important

Pre-trade show promotion is crucial to the success of your trade show strategy for the following reasons:

• Increased Visibility
By promoting your brand before the trade show event, you can increase your visibility and reach a wider audience. This can help you attract more potential customers to your booth and generate leads.

• Brand Building
Pre-trade show promotion provides an opportunity to build your brand image and establish your business as an industry leader. By showcasing your expertise and knowledge, you can create a positive impression of your brand among potential customers.

• Lead Generation
Pre-trade show promotion is an excellent way to generate leads before the event. By using digital marketing channels such as email marketing and social media marketing, you can target potential customers and encourage them to visit your booth.

Pre-Trade Show Engagement

One crucial aspect of trade show marketing is pre-trade show engagement. It involves reaching out to your target audience and prospecting before the trade show, so you can drive traffic to your booth and maximize your ROI. Pre-trade show engagement is where digital marketing comes into play.

Generate Buzz and Awareness

Digital marketing is a powerful tool to generate buzz and awareness for your brand or product before the trade show. Through social media, email marketing, and targeted advertising, you can build excitement and anticipation around your presence at the trade show.

For instance, you can leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to showcase your products, share teasers, and engage with your followers. Create social media posts and emails that encourage attendees to visit your booth, and spotlight any new products or services you’ll be launching at the show.

Reach a Wider Audience

Traditional marketing methods, such as print ads or direct mail campaigns, are limited in reach and often expensive. Digital marketing, on the other hand, allows you to expand your reach and connect with a wider audience.

Through digital marketing, you can reach people in different geographic locations and target specific demographics. For instance, you can create targeted ad campaigns that focus on key decision-makers in your industry or create social media ads that target attendees of the trade show.

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Generate Leads and Schedule Meetings

One of the biggest benefits of pre-trade show engagement is the opportunity to generate leads and schedule meetings. By reaching out to your target audience ahead of the show, you can identify potential customers and get them interested in your product or service.

You can use digital marketing methods such as email marketing and social media to create personalized messages to targeted attendees. In the message, you can encourage the prospect to schedule a meeting with you at the trade show. This way, you can bypass the chaos of the trade show floor and have meaningful one-on-one meetings with your prospects.

Stay Top of Mind

Digital marketing is also a great tool for staying top of mind with your prospects and customers. By creating engaging content on your website, social media, or email campaigns, you can keep your brand and products top of mind for attendees of the trade show.

Use your digital marketing platforms to highlight the latest trends in your industry and position yourself as a thought leader. The more actively you engage with attendees before the show, the more likely they are to seek you out on the trade show floor.

Live Streaming

Trade shows are the perfect opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services to a targeted audience. And in today’s digital age, incorporating digital marketing strategies into trade show plans has become crucial for success. One of the most powerful digital tools that can be leveraged for trade shows is live streaming.

Live streaming is a method of broadcasting live events online for viewers around the world to watch in real-time. With live streaming, businesses can reach a wider audience, increase engagement, and build brand awareness. Here are some ways to integrate live streaming with your trade show strategy.

Increase Audience Reach

Trade shows are attended by a limited number of people who are physically present at the event. However, with live streaming, you can broaden your audience reach beyond the attendees in the room.

Live streaming allows you to reach people who couldn’t make it to the event due to distance, travel, or any other reason. By broadcasting your trade show live, you can engage with audiences watching from different parts of the world. This increases your brand’s visibility and helps you connect with potential customers who would otherwise miss out on the event.

Creating Interactive

Live streaming allows you to interact with your audience in real-time. By creating interactive sessions such as Q&A sessions, live polls, and contests, you can actively engage with your viewers and build brand loyalty.

Interactivity creates a sense of community, which fosters strong relationships between your brand and your customers. Live streaming also enables you to showcase your products or services with live demonstrations, which can generate excitement and boost engagement.

Creating Shareable Content

The content you create during live streaming can be saved and shared on multiple platforms, including social media channels, websites, and blogs.

These platforms help reach a wider audience who missed out on the live streaming session, ultimately extending the shelf-life of your trade show content. By creating shareable content, you can increase brand awareness, attract new customers, and generate leads.

Live Streaming Trade Show Benefits

Live streaming is an effective way to amplify a brand’s digital marketing efforts. Below are some live streaming trade show benefits.

• Expanding Reach
It enables businesses to reach a broader audience beyond the trade show attendees physically present. With the use of social media platforms, businesses can easily broadcast their trade shows to their online followers.

• Reducing Costs
It can help to save your business money by eliminating the need to pay for additional exhibition space or travel expenses to attend the trade show physically.

• Increased Engagement
This provides businesses with an opportunity to engage with their remote audience, allowing them to ask questions and participate in demos, making them feel like they are an integral part of the event.

• Repurposing Content:
Live streaming trade shows enable businesses to repurpose the content for future use. Videos captured during the trade show can be edited and published as a marketing tool to attract more customers to the business.

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Best Practices for Live Streaming Trade Shows

To get the best results from live streaming during trade shows, businesses need to follow best practices.

Here are six best practices for businesses to consider.

• Ensure Quality
Businesses need to ensure the quality of their live stream is up to par. This includes the technical aspects of the streaming, quality of audio and video, and overall engagement of the content.

• Promote in Advance
Promoting the live stream and letting your followers know when and where to find it is crucial. Send out emails, social media announcements, and reminders a few days before the event to keep your audience updated.

• Interact With the Audience
Engage with your online audience by answering questions and providing additional context on the products or services discussed.

• Highlight Key Points
Recap the event, highlighting the best moments and main takeaways for those who missed the live stream.

• Track Metrics
Track critical metrics like views and engagement to determine the success of your live stream.

Post-Trade Show Marketing Strategies

In the current competitive business world, trade shows are a great way for companies to get in front of potential customers, showcase their products or services, connect with industry experts, and build brand awareness.

Trade shows provide a unique opportunity for businesses to engage with their target audience face-to-face, but they only last for a few days. To make the most of the investment in a trade show, companies must have a post-trade show marketing strategy in place.

Follow-up with Attendees

The first step of a post-trade show marketing strategy should be to reach out to the attendees. Gathering contact information during the trade show is crucial to your success. Focus on those individuals who showed a genuine interest in your brand or product and follow-up with a personalized message, either in the form of an email or a phone call.

Social Media Engagement

Use social media platforms to follow-up with attendees, speakers, and other exhibitors. Connect and engage with them on social media to keep your brand at the forefront of their minds. Share pictures of your booth, highlight any awards or recognition, and post relevant content related to the event.

Showcase Your Experience

Create blog posts, case studies, and thought leadership pieces to showcase your experience at the trade show. Share your insights and ideas about the industry trends, reference any connections made during the event, and highlight your brand’s strengths. Use email campaigns to distribute your content to your database and further your reach.

Online Advertising

Use online advertising platforms such as Google Ads and social media advertising to target your audience with customized ads.

You can target attendees who may have expressed an interest in the trade show category, as well as those who may have visited your booth. Use different ad formats such as text, image and video to increase click-through rates and conversions.

Measuring Success

It’s crucial to track the results of your efforts and make changes to improve for the future. Review your leads, website visits, email opens and click rates, social media engagements and ads analytics. This will help you understand what worked and what did not after the event.

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Incorporating digital marketing strategies into trade show plans has become essential for businesses to stay ahead of the competition. It allows companies to engage with potential clients before, during, and after the show while maximizing the impact of their trade show presence.

With the help of digital marketing, businesses can attract more attendees to their booths, generate leads, and drive conversions. From social media campaigns that increase brand awareness to email marketing that promotes attendance, digital tools can help businesses market their trade show in a cost-effective and efficient way.

But, as we have seen, integrating digital marketing with trade show strategies requires a well-planned approach. Companies need to develop a detailed digital marketing plan that complements their trade show strategy and aligns with their overall marketing objectives.

They must understand their target audience and create targeted campaigns that speak directly to their needs and interests. Companies must also keep the conversation going after the event, engaging with attendees and following up with leads to maintain the relationship built at the trade show.

As we move forward, it is clear that digital marketing is here to stay, and its integration with trade show strategies will only grow. By adopting an integrated approach, businesses can maximize their ROI and reap the benefits of increased brand exposure, lead generation, and sales growth.

So, if you want to stay ahead of the competition, it’s time to embrace digital marketing and integrate it with your trade show strategies. By doing so, you can ensure that your business remains relevant, engaging, and profitable. Contact SWHA today for you digital marketing.

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