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The Digital Marketing Must-Do List for Better Trade Show Exposure

the 12 down + dirty tips you've probably been forgetting...

With thousands of brands competing for press + attendee attention at trade shows, how are you setting yourself apart?

There are so many amazing trade show opportunities for housewares brands. From the Las Vegas Market to AmericasMart Atlanta to the International Home + Housewares Show, this industry has the best events to showcase your products + brand!

After 10+ years attending the International Home + Housewares Show, running the social channels for IHA throughout the year (including at the Show) + staffing the Social Media + Digital Marketing Center, we’ve seen some brands doing things really, really well online. We’ve also seen a lot of brands missing out on important opportunities for great trade show marketing. Here are the online strategies we think you need to make your upcoming trade shows more successful!

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Download all 58 tips!

Before the show...

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  • Take a good,  hard look at your website layout with trade show attendees in mind. If you’ve built a primarily direct-to-consumer website, but will be networking with retailers + reps at the show, do you have an easy to find, up to date section of your site optimized for that audience? Think a dedicated landing page (with a form!), schedules of your in-booth demos, new product teasers with copy focused on that audience... Build a library of content for the people you want to wow at your next event! Don't forget to link to that section within the nav + with eye-catching Calls to Action (CTAs) across the site on relevant pages!
  • On your social channels, find all of the hashtags being used about the trade show + use ‘em.  There will most likely be an official hashtag for the event, but there may be additional ones to use for specific expos, or events. At the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show, we used #IHHS2018 as the official Show hashtag, but also used #IHASmartHome for all content related to the expanded Smart Home Pavilion #HousewaresCares for the Housewares Charity Foundation Gala. Pro trade show marketing tip: Create lists of social media accounts, by channel, of those that you know will be attending the event. Getting this work done ahead of time will make engaging at the show that much easier.
  • Take a good look at the demographics of each trade show you attend. Obviously you know that the attendees fit at least one of your personas ( you do have your personas updated, right?), but what are those personas looking for specifically from this event? Dive deeper so that you can craft even more focused email content to them.What’s going to generate the most excitement pre-show buzz for your brand? How are you going to establish trust + demonstrate your booth is worth an attendee’s time?
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    Remarket to the people who visited your event blogs + landing page, both those that have scheduled a meeting with your team + those that haven’t, with different message points to either build trust + excitement about your meeting, or to get them to set up a time!

During the show...

  • You (hopefully) added some great content + CTA's to your site as you prepped for the event, now that the show is here, don't forget to update your event-focused copy so that it's in the present tense!  Update your landing page from “meet us there” to “meet us here”, include words like “today” or “now” in your CTA’s, etc.
  • Downtime at the booth? Talk about it on your social channels! Some attendees may be looking for a quieter time to meet with your team + head over as soon as they can! If you've been engaging with the show's social team (you have been, right?), chances are they'll see your posts + encourage attendees to stop by to see you in no time, too!
  • Update your ad campaigns to target only a small radius around the event location. Many platforms allow you to hone in on a tight radius so you’re only targeting users inside the trade show building. Be sure to also update your messaging with present tense language + a sense of urgency in your CTA's! Don't forget to update your budgets, too!
  • Monitor uses of your brand + product names across the web, so you can share content written by the press + influencers at the event.

After the show...1 (2)

  • Update your site's product pages + photos with the most up to date content/images available. Refresh your site with pictures + videos from the event!
  • Offer digital content that supports the conversations you had in your booth. Release product demos for your newest product. Publish recipes that make use of your top seller. Curate trend reports based on industry insight + data. Grow your content library with really fresh topics while you're still inspired!
  • Make sure any email lists that you’re using for your ad campaign are updated to include any emails you collected during the show. Keep your email targeted social ads going post-show, but be sure to update your messaging accordingly.
  • Utilize those remarketing lists that you’ve been building to keep your brand top of mind for any attendees that visited relevant pages of your website during or before the show.

Ready for more? Download our full guide on creating better brand exposure at trade shows through digital marketing! It's got 58 ways for you to take advantage of your digital reach to make a better impression, lasting contacts + higher conversions!

Get the guide!

If you’d like to talk to our team about a brand-specific plan for your next event, or how we could lighten the load + take over some projects for you, get in touch! We’re here to help!