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How To Use Real-Life Trade Shows To Generate Online Social Shares

By Brian Gordon, President, Skyline Toronto

It is no surprise that the people of this world have become increasingly focused on social media via their smartphones. However, it may come as a surprise to B2B marketers that one of the best ways to get more attention on their buyers’ smartphones can be started by what they do in their trade show displays.

Here are 3 proven ways you can use your trade show booth as a catalyst for getting trade show attendees to share your company via social media:

  1. Photo Opportunity In Your Exhibit

Attendees at trade shows love to be wowed, and will gladly share what they were wowed about via their social media accounts. So give them a reason to whip out their smartphone and take a picture! Give them the ability to have their picture taken in your booth with cool props like guitars or hats or costumes (and yes, even those mustaches-on-a-stick!), backdrops, or with a celebrity. You can also take their pictures with your own camera, share them on your social media accounts, and then email them the link to their picture, so it’s easy for them to social share them. And if your booth activity is fun enough (entertainers, dancers, artists, and magicians) they don’t have to be in the photo to share it. Add even more reason for shares by offering a prize to those who share pictures of your cool booth activity, along with a hashtag or your social media handle in their message.

  1. Give Educational / Trends Presentations In Your Booth

Many attendees to trade shows go because they are there to learn about the issues that face their industry and to learn how to do their job better. So schedule and promote that your company’s subject matter expert(s) will be giving short sessions about key issues facing your clients. Or have a top member of your team give a presentation about the main trends in your industry. Attendees may record and share these presentations, and for sure your own company can post them to its own social media accounts.   So these presentations can do double duty – they can draw in more attendees to your booth during the show, and then get you more social shares and greater reach after the show.

  1. Create A Post-Show Video Of What Happened In Your Display

Not everyone can make it to the trade show who wanted to go. They wanted to go see what was new, to see the energy and find out which potential vendors are truly trustworthy. So create a video that features your clients who visited you in your booth, raving about your products, your service, and your quality. Make a video of the product demonstrations you gave, so viewers can see them in action. And especially show off your new products that you introduced at that show. Then post the video on your YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts, and use the hashtag from the show to get more views. Go into the LinkedIn Group for the trade show, and post the video as a discussion, for those who were at the show but did not make it to your booth, or those who missed the show but wanted to go.

Trade shows are real life events that have the potential to let you capture and create great, sharable content for social media. Try one of these three ideas out at your next trade show. Just be sure to test the technology before the show, have space dedicated for it in your booth, and really train your booth staff how to pull it off so the whole process goes smoothly. You’ll find that your trade show program can become a strong ally of your social media marketing.


About the Author

Brian Gordon is a founding partner of Skyline Toronto, helping companies communicate their message through trade shows, events, and related displays. Clients include a broad spectrum, from Fortune 500 companies to small home-based operations. Areas of expertise include message creation, graphic and architectural design, exhibit display design and build of all sizes, set up and dismantle services locally and throughout the world, repair services, and educational trade show related seminars. Brian can be reached via his website at

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