6 Easy Ways to Make Content A Part of Your Exhibiting Plan

June 28, 2014

Justine Savage

Justine Savage is the Marketing Coordinator and blogger for Nimlok, designer and builder of custom trade show display exhibits and portable displays.

There’s no doubt that by now, you’ve heard of content marketing. Maybe you’re even in the process of implementing it for your own business. Being in marketing myself, the concept had been on my radar for some time.

However, it wasn’t until taking part in a particularly enlightening #Expochat (I find myself repeating this sentence quite often) earlier this year on content marketing for shows/exhibitors that I realized the power it held for trade shows.

As attendees continue to expect more from their trade show experience than a sales pitch, exhibitors have to be ready with something more, and content is the answer.

There are tons of benefits in developing content around your exhibit marketing. It’s great for search engine optimization, it has long legs and makes your brand a knowledgeable touch-point for attendees - but there’s a catch - your content has to be valuable and valuable content takes time.

That time investment can be intimidating, but the content creation resources you already have within reach may surprise you. Below are a few ideas for generating content around your brand to use pre, during and post-show.

Re-purpose Existing content

If you’re really strapped for time, share existing pieces like white papers, blog posts or recorded webinars. Choose content that will speak to your trade show audience and uniquely package it to share via social media and pre-show emails.

Give Existing Content a New Twist

Don’t want to rehash old content, but don’t have time for all new resources? Instead try giving existing content a new twist or perspective. For example, a statistically heavy white paper can be turned into a more easily sharable infographic. Since you’ve already done the legwork, it will cut down the prep time while still providing a valuable new resource to share.

Turn Staff Education into Attendee Education

For those of you with attendees hungry for the nitty-gritty information about your products and services this is a no-brainer. Most exhibitors are likely already taking time to train and educate their booth staff on their offerings. Take the resources you are providing to your team and reposition them to speak to end-users. This will create the ultimate digital information package for your visitors. Bonus: Digital means your packets won’t be left behind in the hotel room trash.  

Create Content From Your Practical Knowledge

Industry information isn’t the only content attendees are looking for. If you’re a veteran of the show, use your knowledge to create practical resources. For example, best restaurants/hotels in town, tips for first-time attendees and activities for those arriving early or staying late. If you haven’t looked into this information, surely someone on your team has. Tap into that knowledge.

Pull Topics From The Pre-Show Buzz

Half the battle of content creation is coming up with that perfect topic. Monitor the pre-show conversations in industry circles on social media and news coverage for your show. Pulling your ideas from the buzz is the perfect way to create timely and relevant content people will want to read before the show.

Use Your At-Show Experience to Build Post-Show Content

Dedicate a notepad in your booth for content ideas and encourage your team to fill it up. Tell your staff to keep their ears open for consistently asked questions, industry problems and newly developing ideas. Then at the end of the show use your list as a road map for your white papers, FAQs, blog posts and guest blogging post-show.

Don’t forget to build off of education sessions too!

If you plan on attending any education sessions while at the show, take thorough notes and share your thoughts through some “live” blogging at the end of the day, or use it to fuel a piece of content later down the road.

With any luck this tactic will allow you to fill a knowledge gap and as a result raise your brand’s status as an industry expert. Plus this new content will be the perfect thing to share with your leads months after the show is over to remind them that you’re conscious of their needs and interests.

With so many creative options for providing valuable content to your audience in conjunction with exhibiting, these ideas only scratch the surface. Exhibitors and show planners, how have you been incorporating content in your game plan? Let’s get a list going in the comments!

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Partner Voices

Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.