Success at trade shows will always be about making personal connections and engaging in meaningful conversations.
But technology increasingly has a place at industry events, too.
Technology can help:
- Pre-show, when you are planning your time at the event
- During the event, to connect you with leads and prospects
- After the show, to organize lead nurturing opportunities
You can even bond with colleagues around your use of the same technology.
If you are attending an industry event in the near future, be prepared and consider these ways to leverage technology at trade shows to help you make more of your time.
1. Tune into the Event’s Website, App and Messenger Feed
Websites and apps built specifically for tradeshows have a number of helpful features. Some feature daily blogs with write-ups of the event’s biggest news, allowing you to do some research and plan your time accordingly.
Many offer an up-to-date attendee list and floor plans with information on exhibitors and where they will be located.
With many shows hosting attendees in the tens of thousands, this type of information ahead of, and during a show, can save you precious time.
More recently event planners are forgoing apps and making use of Facebook messenger as a way to communicate with attendees. You can get timely updates, reminders of exhibition locations, special events, etc. updated through the messenger app on your phone.
Once the event is over, the messages stop and you have no extra app on your phone that is obsolete. You can also use Facebook messenger to communicate with fellow event attendees and receive messages in real time. If you don’t have Facebook messenger installed before the event, take a minute to do so ahead of time.
Your Investment in Attending Trade Show and Industry Events Is Made More Effective When There Is Proper Preparation and Follow- Up – Boost Sales Opportunities by Outsourcing Your Pre- and Post- Trade Show Calls
2. Artfully Employ Social Media and Hashtags
Post to your company’s social media feeds with the hashtags associated with the event. Event hashtags can be used pre-show to promote your appearance or attendance and after the show to strengthen the connections you’ve made.
If you are exhibiting at the show, there are several ways to market your presence, your product, and your connections made at the event using social media. An active presence on platforms like Instagram and Twitter will increase your visibility and participation at a show filled with prospects.
This list of 8 Easy Ways to Use Social Media at Tradeshows offers some practical suggestions for posts and tweets that won’t take up too much of your time but will help maximize your marketing efforts.
3. Name Tags – More Than Meets the Eye
The name tag that hangs from your neck as you staff your booth or travel the floor is a piece of wearable technology. Smart nametags are loaded with the pertinent information you are looking to share about yourself or collect from prospects.
Lead tracking apps are available for smartphones that can integrate with commonly-used badge or card scanning efforts and are often customizable. This makes it possible to capture important information in a form that is not only familiar to you, but applicable to your particular sales efforts.
Using an app customized for your business can help you instantly organize the information collected at a show, making it more likely that you will follow up once the event is over.
New Ways to Get Connected
Trade shows are ultimately about making connections and establishing profitable business relationships. The fundamentals remain the same but new and ever-changing technology has advanced how those connections get started and nurtured.
Learn ways to improve your networking skills so that when you do find yourself face-to-face with potential leads, you can make the most of your time 4 Tips That Will Improve Your Networking at Tradeshows and Industry Events
Attendance at a trade show is a big investment; incorporating new tools can enhance your return on that investment. It’s important to take the time to learn and stay up-to-date on what is available and makes sense for you and your business.