Open Mic Recap: Trade Shows & Your Integrated Marketing Strategy

Open Mic - Trade Shows & Your Integrated Marketing Strategy

In this week’s Exhibit Marketers Café Open Mic event on LinkedIn, we discussed how trade shows are not a marketing island, but rather one element in your overall marketing strategy. Thanks to those who came on stage to join the conversation: Debbi Kemp, Rajarshi Banerjee, Mel White and Michelle Nicole McNabb, and to everyone who joined us in the audience. While we aren’t able to record LinkedIn audio events, here’s a quick summary for you. And keep your eye out for more Open Mic events coming in 2023! (If you have a suggested topic, please share that in the comments.)

First we addressed using social media (especially video) in conjunction with trade shows and events:

  • Social media generates publicity – you can host a virtual event or follow a project’s timeline (Debbi)
  • Find a theme or message for people to connect; create multi-channel materials before the event, then capture video during the event to drip out over the next couple of months to enhance the audience’s memories (Rajarshi)
  • Canon Medical used video in the booth and shared some clips online before the show, which made it familiar when people saw the booth (Debbi)
  • Target specific hashtags, swap videos out depending on the show, and use recap videos in “We Missed You” campaigns after, like Cliff Notes (Michelle Nicole)

Next we discussed how to incorporate direct mail or email:

  • Do drip campaigns in email and always include a call to action in each mailing (Rajarshi)
  • Direct mail works well to promote before the event, especially when you tie it in with a gift as incentive; then use after to guide them on an intentional customer journey (Michelle Nicole)
  • On the topic of giving attendees something, Debbi said giving away a free course works well to help build memory and educate them (especially for accreditation), plus also provides an ongoing touchpoint
  • Use pre-show communication to make sure attendees know what to expect and invite them to share what’s happening with them and what they need, which helps to build community (Mel)

And we explored how to use virtual elements to enhance the in-person experience:

  • For the Canon Across America Tour, there was a virtual tour of the truck for those who weren’t on a tour stop, plus a video conference room onboard the truck so attendees could talk with experts who were not on the tour (Debbiclick here to listen to the entire podcast episode for more details on the tour and their exhibit at RSNA)
  • Audience segmentation helps you understand who your audience is and what their needs are so you can tailor your follow-up (Michelle Nicole)
  • Leverage technology to break geographic barriers and connect with your audience online – levels the playing field for everyone (Rajarshi)

How do you integrate trade shows with your overall marketing strategy? Please share in the comments!

And if you’d like help coming up with specific ideas for your next trade show, reach out to me. We can set up a brainstorming session to discover the best ways to connect with your audience.

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