If you want to stand out from the crowd at your next industry trade show, start the process early and carry through after the show. By combining social media and traditional marketing techniques, you can make the most of your marketing budget for the event.

Before the show

  • If your business doesn’t have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or YouTube account in addition to your company website, set them up to begin promoting the trade show.
  • Create a landing page for the event on your company’s website.
  • Join Facebook and LinkedIn interest groups related to your industry and start a conversation about the event’s agenda topics.
  • Update sales collateral and have them printed in advance. Create electronic versions (pdfs) to send by email and social media.
  • Consider shooting a brief video about your company or new offerings using a smartphone. Download it to YouTube for easy access.
  • Update all social media and mailing lists and send a series of posts to promote the show.
  • Interact on Twitter with those you’d like to meet at the show by re-tweeting interesting industry information.
  • Add a landing page to your company’s website to highlight the event and enable customers to find show information.
  • Obtain the official Twitter hashtag for the event and begin tweeting about the show well in advance.
  • Create your own hashtag to facilitate contest entries or consolidate buzz on your products or services.
  • Order enough business cards and include your LinkedIn and Facebook account addresses.

 During the show

  • Post comments daily about the event on your social media feeds. Keep the tone upbeat, fun and lively.
  • Take photos and post them in real time to social media and on your website’s trade show landing page.
  • Create a short video (30-60 seconds) at the show and post it on YouTube and your company’s website.
  • Use social media to draw a crowd to an event at your booth, such as a contest, celebrity appearance or special drawing.
  • Instead of handing out printed material, place press materials and sales collateral on a flash drive for distribution.
  • Collect business cards and Twitter addresses. Tweet after the show to thank visitors for coming to the booth and share news they may have missed.
  • Keep track of questions asked by prospective customers and plan to incorporate the answers into future collateral.

After the show

  • Update mailing and social media lists from the business cards collected at the event. Send a personal message thanking individuals for stopping by the booth and follow up on information requests.
  • Use social media to research new leads and connect with them on LinkedIn and Facebook.
  • Recap the trade show on social media and include photos for those who were not able to attend.
  • Create a blog posting capturing the highlights of the show and new trends or information you learned while attending the event.
  • From the list of questions that surfaced during the show, draft a trade journal article or blog post addressing those issues.


This news is provided as a service to you by Marlin Business Services Corp., a nationwide leader in commercial lending solutions for the U.S. small business sector. Marlin’s equipment financing and loan programs are available directly and through third-party vendor programs, including manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers, to deliver financing and working capital that help build your success.