Association Congress

Monday, 12 September 2011

Ensuring exhibitors see the value in social media - a practical guide

I had a very interesting meeting with a group of exhibitors last week trying to persuade them to use Social Media to promote their involvement at the exhibition they are attending. 

The thrust of my presentation was that we can add significant value to their attendance if they engage in Social Media.

They asked me to draw up a 'how to' for them and I decided to share it. I hope this is of interest / use to anyone starting to handhold their exhibitors down the road of using Social Media.

How to make the most of your engagement with our audience

We have a long established reputation for designing conferences that offer delegates the opportunity to; hear from key industry players; share knowledge and best practice with industry professionals; network with key industry suppliers and make useful business contacts.

As an exhibitor YOU ARE CENTRAL to our success. As a way of thanks for the support you give us, we want to offer as much opportunity as possible to showcase your involvement and support not only on the day, but in the months and weeks leading up to, and after, the event.

The benefits of using social media

We believe that Social Media offers us an excellent way of highlighting to the industry your involvement in a leading event in our sector.

An active and engaged role in Social Media allows you to open up a direct channel to our attendees: no more relying on us to contact those attending on your behalf. You are now able to contact them directly. It is a wonderful way for you to engage with the audience which we have brought to you.

Why not use our conference theme to create your own Social Media engagement?

By having such a strong theme we have created a vehicle for you to use in your social media engagement before and on the day. How can you use the theme to support your messages and make the event memorable?


If you or your organisation hasn’t already joined Twitter we recommend that you do. It’s a great way of letting your contacts know what you are up to, as well as tailoring your news / information feed. If you are already on Twitter then you will of course know all the benefits.

As an exhibitor we would like you to:

-          Follow us @ and we will follow you. You can hear the latest events news, including new speakers and topics
-          Use the #tag for this event in all your tweets
-          Retweet any news from us relating to the event  
-          Reply to our tweets and let us know your view etc “looking forward to exhibiting” and we will retweet
-          Mention the event. e.g.“Just running around to find literature stands for our stand #” and we will retweet
-          Tweet that you are exhibiting and we will retweet
-          Tweet your views on the day and let people know how you feel the show went for you
-          Communicate directly to the audience on the day using the #tag
-          Tweet after the event to let your followers know what happened for you post event, e.g. “Just signed up a major new contract following the event”.


-          Join the event on LinkedIn to let all your connections you are exhibiting at the event
-          See who else is attending and contact them before and after the event
-          Drive the debate by starting discussions and leaving comments for delegates and other industry professionals interested in the content on the LinkedIn event page
-          Hear specialist news and updates from outside sources: blogs, articles and other events you may be interested in


Our events look fantastic. So we now have a YouTube channel to promote the visual aspects at our events.

As an exhibitor why not:

-          Record a short introduction to your product or service, send the link to us and we will upload on to the channel
-          Record and upload an interview with a delegate on the day or your demonstration
-          Ask delegates to comment on your recordings
-          Ask delegates what they want to see on your stand? Answer some questions or to help add some flesh to your stand presentation
-          Comment on anything that we upload to the channel
-          Mention your content in other social media, like a tweet or comment on Linkedin

And that's it!

Developing your strategy

This may not be the right strategy for you, or the list of channels you decide to use, but I hope it gives you a feel for the type of information that exhibitors will find useful.

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