When it comes to promoting your business and reaching out to potential new customers, there are few strategies that are more effective than planning to exhibit your work at trade shows or other promotional events. Every year, a multitude of such events are hosted across the United States, offering businesses an opportunity to meet with buyers, face-to-face.
But what exactly goes into planning for an event? How can a business properly promote itself to ensure that it isn’t spending excessive amounts of money on marketing?
First and foremost, it is of utmost importance for a business to set specific goals for the events that they plan to attend. If you going to a trade show, are you seeking to meet new people, close potential sales, or raise awareness for the services that your business provides? By setting these specific goals, businesses can appropriately select which trade shows or events might offer them the highest return on investment, as well as approach such events with a more refined and confident plan of action.
It is also vital that businesses come to a simple, yet fairly profound conclusion about events: by their very nature, events are social affairs. Since those who attend trade shows or other promotional events tend to consist of like-minded prospects looking to connect and interact with their peers, the advantages of utilizing social media platforms to reach out to such prospects can be enormous. In fact, social media platforms can provide businesses with a complete package for planning and promoting their services at any given event!
To elaborate, in the weeks preceding a specific event, businesses can begin to raise awareness for the event that they plan to attend in a subtle manner (i.e. occasionally posting reminders of when events will be held). As these efforts to raise awareness are made over a range of different social media platforms, businesses can use monitoring tools to listen and respond to their audience, as well as identify who their target audience is and what platforms they are most active on.
Through these efforts made in the days leading up to the event, businesses can ensure that they will have a small following of people who are interested in their services or available products during the event itself. From here, businesses can continue to build upon the conversation with their target audience, consistently generating engagement through interaction over social media platforms and perhaps the creation of a unique event hashtag.
When these steps are taken, businesses will increase their target audience and raise awareness for their services, subsequently yielding a more loyal following with genuine interest in maintaining their relationships with the business. With that said, to keep this network of individuals and continue to build upon it, businesses must consciously make an effort to interact with people after any given event is over. This interaction could take place via blog posts about the event, personal thanks to those who expressed interest, surveys asking for feedback and ideas for future events, or simply continued interaction with individuals on various social media platforms throughout the course of the year.
If these steps are taken, businesses should be able to approach events with a huge sigh of relief. By setting goals and capitalizing on opportunities offered by social media platforms, businesses will unquestionably have a more effective plan for promoting their services at any given event.