A tech event stall is a lot like Baby from Dirty Dancing. After spending all that time, energy and love on creating an alluring space for your business, the last thing you want to do is end up in the corner, being ignored. You need excited whispers and phones lighting up and chatter about your product, right? So how can you make sure that that chat is buzzing about your stand?
We had a chat with Max Doyle, Managing Director of Hello Social, one of Australia’s first social media marketing agencies and partner of CeBIT Australia, to learn about upcoming trends and what exhibitors can do to make the most of their social media moments at CeBIT Australia 2017.
The social media landscape: Same, same but different
In the course of their three-year partnership with CeBIT, the team at Hello Social have seen a lot of social media trends come and go. Twitter, Periscope and most recently Snapchat, have all garnered a lot of attention, but Doyle is predicting a strong return to Instagram, especially now that they’ve added the Instagram Stories feature. He says, ‘Instagram allows you to post beautiful, crafted content, and the stories feature allows you to create a series of videos that have permanency,’ (unlike SnapChat). The clean, square format also allows you to have fun and think of ways how you can create a ‘gram worthy moment at your stall, which leads us to our next point:
Think outside the box (about the inside of your box)
Doyle is amazed at how many opportunities go begging at exhibitions, ‘creating a backdrop for a photo opportunity doesn’t need to be difficult, time-consuming or expensive. You don’t even need much room. So many exhibits have the most amazing, interactive products, yet don’t offer a fun way for exhibition goers to pose with them. Give people all the tools that they need to capture a great moment.’
Before this year’s CeBIT he suggests that exhibitors think about how they can accommodate space for a quick snap. He recalls that a stall just used one wall of their exhibit as a social media feature wall. ‘It was so simple, yet very effective. People could take a snap, share and feel part of a conversation.’
If you don’t have space, then it’s time to get lateral. Anything that draws the eye and creates a moment also works really well. At last year’s CeBIT, a data company’s staff dressed as Stormtroopers and Princess Leias.
They were a very popular attraction at a techie-filled event and were constantly surrounded by people wanting a picture or a chat. What you are trying to do is to create a talking point by standing out in a sea of stalls. Remember to further capitalise on the opportunity to make your branding visible and by having your hashtags ready to go.
Be bold: make the most of your opportunities
Social media platforms offer us access to anyone with a handle, be it your mum or Elon Musk. Yet so often, exhibitors forget this. If you’re inspired, excited or just want to reach out to someone, social media allows you to do so. Doyle says ‘if you find something relevant, don’t be scared to jump onto a hashtag and start a conversation with a company.’
On the other side of that equation, you should be actively promoting conversation and make it easy as possible to join in. There are a number of ways to do this including:
- running a live-tweet feed at your stall
- having technology that people can interact with when they visit your stall
- feature promotions, competitions and giveaways on your feed
- jump on exhibition hashtags when possible/appropriate.
Social media lingers long after the exhibition is over
The content you create after the exhibition provides you with some great opportunities to get in touch with prospective customers, or just keep your brand in people’s mind a while longer. The gesture can be as small as a #tbt hashtag. Alternatively you might run a competition and wait until the exhibition is over to announce your winner, or compile ‘best of’ snaps for your next blog piece or newsletter. Extending the conversation allows your exhibition investment to stretch that little bit further and for you to gain more reach.
Start a conversation
In essence, social media platforms are just another way to start a conversation about your business. But used wisely they have the potential to amplify the buzz and make your exhibition the talk of the show. We hope that the above tips have given you some insight into how to make the most of your social media strategy at a tech exhibition show. If you want to improve your brand exposure, generate more leads and network with industry experts, you should consider exhibiting at CeBIT Australia 2017.