Weekly News & Insights: Enhancing Connections

Social media infographicTrade shows and conferences have always been about making connections. And while that hasn’t changed, many of the tools available have.

Social media is now a major player in creating connections before, during and after the event, which also extends those connections. Echelon Design created an infographic on “Social Media in the New Event World,” showing how organizations are using these tools. (Click on the image to view a full-size infographic.)

A close cousin to social media, mobile apps are also becoming more common at events. They also extend the reach of connections by allowing attendees to make “shopping lists” of exhibitors they want to visit and encouraging them to customize their experience with personal notifications and agendas. These apps can also serve as a digital archive of the event. (Not to mention they can serve as a great revenue generator for shows.) For more tips on how show organizers can implement apps, CrowdCompass is offering a free ebook, the Mobile App Marketing Playbook: A Guide to Increasing Mobile Event App Adoption.

And speaking of enhanced engagement … content marketing is another smart tool in both the exhibitor and show manager’s toolboxes. According to Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, the key is to use both your website and e-mail list to build year-round relationships with attendees. It’s important to share content that’s relevant and valuable, not just a sales pitch. “You have to think like a publisher,” he said. For more of Pulizzi’s tips, check out this article on ExpoWeb.com.

For those seeking virtual event technology, there’s an online directory that can help simplify the process of researching and selecting vendors. The Virtual Edge Institute (VEI) has compiled the “Virtual Edge Directory,” an online listing of more than 400 companies in 18 categories — from mobile apps to event marketing solutions to content capture & delivery. There are even some companies listed who provide 3D immersive virtual worlds. The directory is free to use.

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Marlys Arnold

With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto, and the ExhibitorEd Success System. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café, an online education community. To request an “Extra Shot of Exhibit Success” go to www.ExhibitMarketersCafe.com.