Ideas for social media to support your event

14.03.18

Exhibition professionals light on social media for event support

Although one might assume that there would be a lot of engagement in social media from those who are creating environments for key external audiences to engage with their organisation, in practice this is not necessarily the case for event support.

We asked senior exhibition professionals how they used social media before, during and after their exhibitions. Their responses are below.

Before an event

“Our main objective is to increase footfall so social media assists us with that. We use it to help create a buying need before an event so visitors come to the stand to buy.”

“We work closely with the event organisers themselves who want to tie in with social media. We might give away free tickets via Twitter campaign for example.”

“We highlight that we will be at an event and what will take place there through LinkedIn.”

“We raise our profile, tell people we will be there, what we are doing, who will be there. We use social media to help organise meetings and visits off the back of that. We engage with thought leaders in relation to topics centred on that event.”

“This is part of our normal communications process. Pushing out messages, saying what people can expect and why they should come to our booth.”

“We use our blogs to make launch announcements.”

“We create a LinkedIn group specifically around the event. Clients are invited to join and find out lots of relevant information there.”

“We offer one-way communications to say we are here, we are taking part and supporting an event.”

During an event

“We communicate details of our activity during the event accompanied with stand images.”

“We offer voting for conversation forums and competitions.”

“When an exhibition is quite new we have major events to launch it. In the first weeks or months we attract attention.”

“We share information about product launches, who we’re meeting, quirky stuff about what the team is doing.”

“We communicate about promotions.”

“We share videos and tie in with partners and sponsors. We also use them internally to show everyone in the company what’s going on. Our social media for internal communications is very good.”

“We use the event handle on Twitter.”

“We take pictures of important visitors and post them online.”

After an event

“We follow up and engage with people we met, as well as join discussion boards coming out after the event.”

“We thank people for coming and share awards won, etc.”

“We continue to use our LinkedIn event group for follow up.”

Given that so many organisations are using social media in strategic ways to achieve their objectives, it was surprising that follow up activity after an exhibition’s close was exceedingly spare. We could be charitable and assert that perhaps a strategic approach renders activity afterwards to be of little importance in the greater scheme of things. It is hard to calculate if ramping up social media has a positive impact on an event’s ROI, but it would be heart-warming to know that organisations were testing the boundaries to see what improvements could be made. We think that organisations are simply so relieved to have completed their exhibition that they are looking to wind down their efforts or they are immediately looking to the next event. They are not considering post-event follow up as just as important to activity before and during an event itself.