After trade shows are over—as your nagging backache continues to fade, and your feet start to feel normal again—what do you do?
Of course, your sales team probably calls the individuals who dropped by your booth. And you hope that their skills help you achieve an ROI big enough to at least cover your expenses for the show.
But what else?
Even if you’ve used all your budget on trade shows, there are still two powerful ways you can leverage your exhibiting investment.
The first arises from the fact that there’s an important audience to target beyond the people who left business cards at your booth.
This new audience is found on Twitter, particularly using events’ hashtags. You do this by looking at the people using the hashtags, and reading their Twitter bios to identify those who are potential prospects.
You can find many prospects this way. The recently completed 2016 SHRM Conference provides great evidence for this. While attendance was more than 15,000, 28,000 people used the hashtag #SHRM16—13,000 more people than attended the event! And while many are vendors and consultants, there are quite a few practitioners in this group.
Then add on the hundreds of HR events, conferences and Twitter chats that take place each year, and you have a new set of prospects to engage with.
Hashtag Reports for 1,000+ HR Conferences & Twitter Chatssm
HRmarketer Insight has a searchable databases of everyone that has engaged on social with over 1,000 HR and related industry conferences/events. Search by name, Twitter ID or keyword in bio. For any event hashtag export tweet transcripts, user lists with bios and more.Learn more.
It’s important to note, however, that you need to communicate with these prospects differently than those who have given you their business cards. For the prospects gleaned from Twitter have yet to express interest in you or your services.
That means don’t spam them, and don’t call them. Instead, you found them on social, so be “social” with them.
Begin by following them on Twitter, and retweeting some of their tweets to casually make them aware of you. If they follow you back, connect with them on LinkedIn and reference your Twitter connection. And if the person is truly a qualified prospect that would benefit from your services, there is nothing wrong with using social to introduce your product/service to your new follower(s).
Here’s the second way you can leverage your investment: analyzing event hashtags helps you pick the right shows to attend next year. By examining event hashtags, you can identify the shows that potential prospects have been attending, and make sure you are there, too.
Try these two steps. They’ll help improve your ROI on your exhibiting investment.