June 24, 2014

Event Marketing + Content Marketing: A Match Made in Heaven

For many, summer means spending time at the beach, taking a nice long vacation or hitting the golf course. But for businesses, summer is synonymous with the start of the bustling tradeshow season.

Across the country, companies in every industry will be hosting and exhibiting at these events. But through the years, effective event marketing has evolved from printing out tradeshow flyers to disseminating a continuous flow of quality content that begins before the conference and keeps going after the show officially ends. In other words, rather than floating an occasional reminder into the atmosphere, marketers should start an ongoing conversation with stakeholders using a variety of communication channels. 


Below is a roadmap for content creation that engages at every stage of event planning for both the host and the exhibitor:

Before the Kickoff

For companies exhibiting at tradeshows, creating excitement and interest around your brand starts way before the doors open. No matter how well-constructed your 10-by-10 booth might be, it’s likely to be one of hundreds at the event, which makes it difficult to stand out above all the rest.

One way to ensure your booth is a “must-see” for attendees is to do something creative on your blog in the days leading up to the event. For instance, create a “countdown” of reasons to be excited for the show and reveal one in a blog post each day until it begins. If your company is hosting the event, consider giving readers a taste of what you plan to exhibit or interview a member of your marketing team for a blog post.

A robust social media campaign can also be helpful. Consider creating a hashtag specifically for the event and include it in every post you make on every platform. That hashtag can serve as part of the foundation of your event branding.

During the Event

Of course, you’ll never have a better opportunity to engage with other professionals than when you have them right in front of you. When your booth opens up make sure you have plenty of business cards, case studies, whitepapers and pamphlets available—nothing is worse than having to tell an interested party that you ran out of materials.

Additionally, blogging and social media should be ramped up, not tapered during the event. If you are planning to showcase a new product at your booth, make sure people understand why they need to stop by to see it. If you are the host and you managed to land an exciting new keynote speaker this year, post a short Q&A with the speaker on your blog to tease some of the talking points attendees can expect to hear during the address. But make sure you don’t give everything away! You can also live stream some of your key speakers or discussion panels to create engagement for those who could not be at the event but are interested in what is happening.

After the Event

The work doesn’t stop once everybody checks out of their hotels and heads home—or to the next show. Make sure you ask new contacts about their preferred communication channels so you can follow up accordingly. If your company sponsored the event, don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions about how you can improve the experience next year.

And be sure to avoid one of the most common mistakes businesses make after a tradeshow by saving the high-quality event content for re-purposing later. These videos, documents, podcasts and blog posts can be tweaked and recycled to promote your brand long after the event comes to a close. Oftentimes, the content created for an event is some of the most creative that you’ll create all year—and you should never get rid of quality content haphazardly.

So if you’re planning to join Content Boost and TMC for our global business technology event, ITEXPO, August 11-14 at the Rio in Las Vegas, or have any other shows on your calendar over the next few months, think about how you can best build momentum for every stage of the event experience. Here’s hoping we see you in Vegas!

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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