Now that social media is an integral part of marketing for businesses, it is important to remember to include a social media marketing strategy for exhibiting at trade shows too. Traditionally, trade shows take a lot of planning ahead of time and then once the trade show booth is set up, it used to be all about attracting passersby and selling to them. Now, social media can increase your reach within a trade show event and help your booth get more exposure, and more sales.

10 point social media checklist

We have developed a handy social media checklist to help you with a social media plan for your next trade show or exhibition.

1. Pick your social channels

You may not need to use all of the social channels you have set up for your company, only utilize the channels that you can handle updating and continuing the conversations with attendees. You might set up new event type channels like Foursquare or other meeting venues.

2. Plan Ahead

If you are planning sales or any specials during the show, you can write blogs and draft social media posts ahead of time. This way, you won’t have to spend time doing in during a busy event. Make a calendar to help keep you on track. You should also choose your hashtag ahead of time so that you can add that to your signs and flyers in the booth to connect everything.

3. Create Social Events for Each Trade Show

Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social event sites like EventBrite are great for creating buzz social buzz online ahead of time and during the trade show. You can also use those events to promote your even by inviting current and potential new customers.

4. Set up Check Ins

Facebook and Foursquare allow users to check in to venues. If you set up a custom one for your booth instead of using the generic one for the venue or entire trade show, this can bring extra attention to your booth and your company.

5. Run Contests on Social Sites

Contests can add extra exposure and extra fun to the trade show booth. You may be familiar with running contests at your booth; you can connect them to social sites and invite visitors to post pictures as part of the contest. Your brand will gain extra exposure to each poster’s network that might not even be at the trade show.

6. Execute the Plan

Remember to stick to the plan and the calendar that you set up ahead of time.

7. Coordinate with Partners

Consider working with other booths or local businesses to expand the scope of the marketing and reach a larger target audience.

8. Engage with Attendees

Tactics to find attendees on social media include searching for trade show venue check-ins or people talking about the trade show on social media. Send them messages on social channels to let them know about your booth.

9. Follow Through

After the trade show has ended, make sure to keep in touch with the attendees that connected with you during the show. Add names to email lists, and send thank you messages on social channels.

10. Review What Worked and What Didn’t

Each time that you use social media at a trade show, you will learn something new based on what worked and what didn’t. Take into consideration what works in some cities and not in others. The best time to review your social media trade show plan is right after the event concluded and everything is fresh in your memory.

Author Bio: Eric Thomas is blogger and Brand Manager for He enjoys sharing marketing and business topics.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Melbourne Web Design & Online Marketing.