|While nothing can replace good old-fashioned networking, the advancement of social media is taking the process to a whole new level. Trade shows are not exempt from this evolution. In a recent study conducted by the International Association of Exhibitions and Events™, 31% of trade show attendees utilized social media for events—indicating that social media for trade shows is moving beyond the early adopter phase.Social media is enhanced networking, or relationships on steroids, because it provides greater, yet abbreviated access. According to an article in Association Conventions & Facilities magazine, author John Buchanan writes, “Instead of ‘pushing’ information, it ‘pulls’ a customer into a two-way conversation with clear benefits for both parties. Technologies such as […Twitter®] have enabled networking on a scale never before imagined. As a result, the very definition of a well-defined, industry-captive audience has changed.”Compared to other social medial tools, Twitter® allows you to stay connected and relevant to everyone, not just those within your immediate circle. In the example featured below, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show is on Twitter® as @KitchenBathShow and the organization encourages people to follow its events using the hashtag #KBIS. The hashtag creates an index of related posts allowing people to both post and search for related content.|
The simplicity of Twitter® allows for an array of innovative applications for both promotion of your message and your message itself. If the possibilities are overwhelming, here are a few tips using #KBIS as an example to get you started:
Before the show
At the show
After the Show
Remember that Twitter® is a cost-effective tool, but it’s not free. The investment is in time, which is a valuable commodity in any organization. Twitter® forces an abbreviated message and limits you to finding your voice in 140 characters or less.
Establishing a presence is also an exercise in patience. As with most marketing tactics, success will not be immediate. It will take time to build a following and capture their trust. Keep tweeting in accordance to the 80/20 rule: Tweet industry-based information 80% of the time and personal information 20%. This will allow you to establish your authority and build trust.
So get tweeting and good luck.
IAEE Social Media Task Force. “Social Media White Paper:
Buchanan, John. “Integrated Event Marketing: Leveraging Technology to Connect and Engage Attendees.” Association Conventions & Facilities October-November 2011. 18-21.
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