During the Tradeshow or Conference:
Twitter is one of the best tools to leverage during a show. As we discussed in preparing for a show, it is important to know the specific hashtag for the show. Begin by following the hashtag as you arrive and joining the conversation.
- Make note of people who are tweeting whom you recognize as valuable and seek them out to say hello face-to-face.
- If you are attending seminars or visiting booths, tweet out tidbits of knowledge throughout the day and be sure to use the show hashtag.
- Pictures are often forgotten about during a show, but tweeting out photos of team members will help them become more recognizable to other attendees and can help with meetings. Photos of your booth activity can also be a great way to attract visitors during a show.
- If you have a booth, use Twitter to communicate to others at the show using the hashtag. Let visitors know if key people are / or will be in your both at certain times.
- Tweet out information about post-conference events and networking opportunities.
During the show, ask people as you meet them if they are on LinkedIn and if they are open to connecting. Try to send invitations to connect during the show while you are fresh in their minds. Be sure to include a personal message when you connect mentioning your meeting at the show.
Blog & Share
Depending upon the type of person you are and the access you have to this tool, a great idea for multi-day shows is to write up a daily wrap up for your company blog. This will give you something of real value to share both within the show group on LinkedIn and on Twitter.
When using social media during a show, it is often beneficial to use the app versions for your phones or tablets to stay active.
After the Event
- Add contacts on LinkedIn if you have not connected with them already. A good rule to follow is to send invitation within 3 days of a show; any later and people may not remember you.
- Make the time to schedule some meetings with people you were introduced to at the show. Use LinkedIn to connect, but be sure to add a purpose to your connection. Phone or in person meetings show that you mean business!
- Organize your LinkedIn contacts from the show with a Tag. It will help you identify this group of people if you want to send follow-up emails via LinkedIn. It will also help you as people reach back out to you after the show.
- Review the LinkedIn group for the show and see what people are sharing. Join the conversation with replies to questions or create your own post to get people talking around a topic of your choice.
The show may be over but the banter does not stop.
- Take the time to create Twitter lists of people you met at the show who have the potential to be clients or referral partners. Start following them and engaging them with greater frequency. Use these engagements to take the conversation offline to meet or speak about opportunities.
- Follow speakers who resonate with you and your potential clients. Retweet information you find valuable and look for other upcoming events that will give you an opportunity meet potential clients.
- Use this tool to become a thought leader for your business, sharing what was learned at the show and how it aligns with your firm’s values.
Blog & Share
As I mentioned, you may want to do this during a multi-day show, but you should definitely do this after an event. Creating a show wrap up that you can share gives you a reason to reach out to people via LinkedIn and Twitter. You may also want to use this to connect with existing customers as a way to show new skills you’re learning or to give them tips to help their teams grow.
Social media can be a great tool for in person events. Remember to use these intruments to differentiate yourself, but to truly achieve success, you need to have a plan to move from the virtual world to the physical world.