Effective Social Media For Event Exhibitors

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These slides were used in the webcast "Effective Social Media for Event Exhibitors." Led by Web 2.0 Expo Co-Chair and “The Twitter Book” co-author Sarah Milstein and Web 2.0 Expo Community Manager Kaitlin Pike, this webcast featured real-life success stories and practical tips for using services such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and your own company blog for efficient marketing before, during, and after a show.

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  • Spoken: At Web 2.0 Expo New York this past fall, IBM took a twist on the old idea of having swag at their booth. They decided to use social media and candy to drive booth traffic and ended up increasing their lead generation by 750%. So how’d they do this? And what was their inspiration? I’m going explain why they did what they did, how they did it, and what you can take from this example.
  • First off, their thought process. Like any exhibitor, they wanted to increase their booth traffic to get more leads.
  • The marketing team had a meeting to discuss how to use social media to accomplish this goal. They’d seen the success others were having with Twitter, Facebook, and other tools, and they figured they could do just as well if not better.
  • Their meeting was right before lunch so, naturally, they started thinking about food as a way to attract people to the booth.
  • Specifically chocolate. Everyone loves chocolate.
  • But they wanted to do more than just toss out candy to people walking by. Doing that doesn’t involve social media and it doesn’t get people involved with their brand.
  • If they could somehow tie twitter into this, they’d be able to create significant positive buzz about both their booth and their brand.
  • Here’s how they did it: They used candy as a sort of welcome mat. It gives people an excuse to walk up to your booth and scan their badge. Whenever you give away candy or swag you’re going to get people who are just there for the free stuff, but you also get those who might be interested in your products but are otherwise too shy to walk up cold or just need an extra push.
  • The second step in their strategy was to give yet another item away for free. If a visitor watched a demo of an IBM product, they received a USB key with free downloads, white papers, and links to free trials online. This part of their booth strategy is crucial because at this point they’re pulling in those who would genuinely be interested in using IBM’s products with an extra gift. They’re getting the visitor involved in the product, and not just handing out free swag.
  • At the end of this strategy, IBM booth staffers now have visitors on a sugar high and have them excited about the products they were just shown. They’re interested. All IBM needs to do now is to catch up with them later.
  • But how does this all relate to Twitter? Well, before the Web 2.0 Expo New York floorshow opened, the IBM marketing team had IBM employees tweet about the candy at their booth by using the #w2e hashtag – so attendees following this tag would know about it – and also by using the #sweettweets hashtag to make #sweettweets synonymous with IBM’s booth for the time being. [ibm created] [they used twitter to create the buzz to get people to their booth]
  • At the booth they set up a plasma screen using the application “TweetDeck” to show visitors which attendees were tweeting about #sweettweets and IBM’s booth. This encouraged visitors to go and tweet about the experience themselves. This sounds strange, but people love seeing their name on a screen. Think of how crazy people get when they see their name on a baseball stadium screen.
  • After visitors left the booth, they published some pretty happy tweets about their experience.
  • As you can see here, whenever IBM has #sweettweets at an event, they get a lot of good buzz.
  • So what’d we learn from this? The bottom line is that by using a typical exhibitor marketing scheme – swag or candy that is – matched with social media, IBM ended up with 1,500 leads when they were only expecting 200.
  • How can you apply their model to your own? Here are a few takeaways. First, start tweeting before the event occurs. Not everyone is going to be checking twitter or facebook or other sites once they’re at the event. You need to announce that you’ll be there – and what you’re doing – before a conference begins. Create buzz beforehand.
  • Next, get your whole organization involved. Ask your coworkers to tweet and retweet about your booth or what you’re doing at an event. This of course can include them posting updates to facebook, commenting in a linkedin group, etc. However, I should note that I’m not encouraging you to spam people. Use your best judgement. [refer to each other in accounts]
  • It sounds cliché, butcontests and swag always do well. Don’t ignore them. People like free stuff.
  • Finally, be sure to follow up not only with those who came to your booth, but with those who tweeted about you. These people are engaged with your brand. You need to listen to what they’re saying and respond to their comments or proactively engage them.
  • I’d just like to close on something Jennifer McDonough, the IBM marketer who came up with the sweettweets idea, said about using social media at events and in general. She said, “Remember how people didn’t have a website? Now a website is critical. We’re at the early adopter stage. You’re leaving money on the table if you’re not using social media.”
  • Effective Social Media For Event Exhibitors

    1. Presented by Web 2.0 Expo staff: Sarah Milstein, GM & Co-Chair (@SarahM) Kaitlin Pike, Community Manager (@w2e) Social Media for Event Exhibitors
    2. Sarah
    3. Sarah Kaitlin
    4. Hashtag for today #w2e
    5. Agenda for today
    6. Agenda for today <ul><li>What can social media do for you at events? </li></ul>
    7. Agenda for today <ul><li>What can social media do for you at events? </li></ul><ul><li>A compelling case study </li></ul>
    8. Agenda for today <ul><li>What can social media do for you at events? </li></ul><ul><li>A compelling case study </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for success </li></ul>
    9. Agenda for today <ul><li>What can social media do for you at events? </li></ul><ul><li>A compelling case study </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for success </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
    10. Agenda for today <ul><li>What can social media do for you at events? </li></ul><ul><li>A compelling case study </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for success </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
    11. Social media amplifies
    12. Social media amplifies <ul><li>Create coverage of the action at your booth </li></ul>
    13. Social media amplifies <ul><li>Create coverage of the action at your booth </li></ul><ul><li>Drive traffic </li></ul>
    14. Social media amplifies <ul><li>Create coverage of the action at your booth </li></ul><ul><li>Drive traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Stand out </li></ul>
    15. Social media amplifies <ul><li>Create coverage of the action at your booth </li></ul><ul><li>Drive traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Generate buzz </li></ul><ul><li>Stand out </li></ul>
    16. Social media amplifies <ul><li>Create coverage of the action at your booth </li></ul><ul><li>Drive traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Generate buzz </li></ul><ul><li>Stand out </li></ul><ul><li>Build relationships </li></ul>
    17. Social media amplifies <ul><li>Create coverage of the action at your booth </li></ul><ul><li>Drive traffic </li></ul><ul><li>Generate buzz </li></ul><ul><li>Reach customers and coworkers who aren’t onsite </li></ul><ul><li>Stand out </li></ul><ul><li>Build relationships </li></ul>
    18. Agenda for today <ul><li>What can social media do for you at events? </li></ul><ul><li>A compelling case study </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for success </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
    19. Case study: Everyone loves sweet tweets
    20. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: The Thought Process <ul><li>We want to drive booth traffic </li></ul>
    21. <ul><li>We want to drive booth traffic </li></ul><ul><li>We want to use social media to do this </li></ul>IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: The Thought Process
    22. <ul><li>We want to drive booth traffic </li></ul><ul><li>We want to use social media to do this </li></ul><ul><li>This meeting is right before lunch… </li></ul>IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: The Thought Process
    23. <ul><li>We want to drive booth traffic </li></ul><ul><li>We want to use social media to do this </li></ul><ul><li>This meeting is right before lunch… </li></ul><ul><li>Chocolate sounds good right now </li></ul>IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: The Thought Process
    24. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: The Thought Process Candy…
    25. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: The Thought Process Candy… and Twitter?
    26. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: An A-to-Z Solution
    27. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: An A-to-Z Solution
    28. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: An A-to-Z Solution
    29. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: Creating Buzz <ul><li>Tweeted before the Expo opened </li></ul>
    30. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: Creating Buzz <ul><li>Tweeted before the Expo opened </li></ul><ul><li>Set up TweetDeck in booth </li></ul>
    31. <ul><li>Tweeted before the Expo opened </li></ul><ul><li>Set up TweetDeck in booth </li></ul><ul><li>Visitors spread the love </li></ul>IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: Creating Buzz
    32.  
    33. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: What’d we learn? <ul><li>Expectation: 200 leads </li></ul><ul><li>Result: 1,500 leads </li></ul>
    34. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: Takeaway Tips <ul><li>Start before the event occurs </li></ul>
    35. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: Takeaway Tips <ul><li>Start before the event occurs </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple people tweeting for you </li></ul>
    36. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: Takeaway Tips <ul><li>Start before the event occurs </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple people tweeting for you </li></ul><ul><li>Contests and swag </li></ul>
    37. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: Takeaway Tips <ul><li>Start before the event occurs </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple people tweeting for you </li></ul><ul><li>Contests and swag </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up </li></ul>
    38. IBM’s #SweetTweets Idea: McDonough’s Advice
    39. Agenda for today <ul><li>What can social media do for you at events? </li></ul><ul><li>A compelling case study </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for success </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
    40. Define your goals
    41. Define your goals
    42. Define your goals
    43. Pick services to meet your goals
    44. Pick services to meet your goals
    45. Pick services to meet your goals
    46. Pick services to meet your goals
    47. Pick services to meet your goals
    48. Pick services to meet your goals
    49. Pick services to meet your goals
    50. Create a hub
    51. Create a hub
    52. Create a hub
    53. Create a hub
    54. Create a hub
    55. Create a hub
    56. Help people find you
    57. Help people find you
    58. Help people find you
    59. Help people find you
    60. Help people find you
    61. Help people find you
    62. Start early
    63. Start early
    64. Start early
    65. Start early
    66. Be chatty
    67. Be chatty
    68. Be chatty
    69. Be chatty
    70. Be chatty
    71.  
    72. Be chatty
    73. Be chatty
    74. Be chatty
    75. Use hashtags
    76. Use hashtags
    77. Use hashtags
    78. Offer valuable stuff
    79. Offer valuable stuff
    80. Offer valuable stuff
    81. Offer valuable stuff
    82. Hold contests
    83. Hold contests
    84. Hold contests
    85. Hold contests
    86. Hold contests
    87. Hold contests
    88. Follow up
    89. Follow up
    90. Follow up
    91. Follow up
    92. Use your booth
    93. Use your booth
    94. Use your booth
    95. Host a tweetup
    96. Host a tweetup
    97. Host a tweetup
    98. Share tips
    99. Share tips
    100. Listen up
    101. Search Twitter
    102.  
    103. CrowdVine
    104.  
    105.  
    106.  
    107.  
    108.  
    109.  
    110.  
    111. Track your success
    112.  
    113. Track your success
    114. Track your success
    115. Track your success <ul><li>Take pictures and video </li></ul>
    116. Track your success <ul><li>Take pictures and video </li></ul><ul><li>Grab screenshots </li></ul>
    117. Track your success <ul><li>Take pictures and video </li></ul><ul><li>Grab screenshots </li></ul><ul><li>Favorite tweets </li></ul>
    118. Now’s the time 40 percent of exhibitors use online social media to promote their exhibits. Source: “Exhibitors Use Social Media to Promote Booths,” Sep 29, 2009.  http://meetingsnet.com/associationmeetings/news/0929-exhibitors-use-social-media/
    119. Agenda for today <ul><li>What can social media do for you at events? </li></ul><ul><li>A compelling case study </li></ul><ul><li>Tips for success </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
    120.  
    121.  
    122. Thanks <ul><li>Jennifer Cisney, Kodak </li></ul><ul><li>Karen Hartline, Porter Novelli </li></ul><ul><li>Jennifer McDonough, IBM </li></ul><ul><li>Jaymie Scotto Cutaia and Ilissa Miller, Jaymie Scotto & Associates </li></ul><ul><li>All Web 2.0 Expo photos by James Duncan Davidson </li></ul>
    123. <ul><li>Sarah Milstein </li></ul><ul><li>http://twitter.com/ SarahM </li></ul><ul><li>smilstein @techweb.com </li></ul><ul><li>Kaitlin Pike </li></ul><ul><li>http://twitter.com/ w2e </li></ul><ul><li>kpike @techweb.com </li></ul>Contact us

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