5 Trade Show Website Marketing Tactics that Drive Serious Results

June 5, 2019

Kat Seiffert

Kat Seiffert is a senior manager in marketing and communication services at SmithBucklin, where she specializes in digital marketing for associations and their events, including trade shows. She also serves on an internal working group at SmithBucklin focused on improving digital strategy and content.

A trade show website is a critical part of the overall event experience. It promotes the event, drives attendance, generates awareness, and maintains interest afterward. Following are five trade show website must-haves to ensure your event gets the extra boost it needs to succeed.

1. Develop a Strategy Within the Greater Strategy

Other than word of mouth and email, your website is the primary communication vehicle that potential attendees, exhibitors and sponsors will use to learn about your event. Thus, having website-first mentality — including the development of a clear, measurable strategy specific to the website — is critical. That strategy should include ongoing tracking of user experiences and behaviors so you can more quickly identify any gaps. If your target audience doesn’t understand the flow of your website and is not compelled to register, then more work is needed on the website strategy.

2. Give Power to Your People

Go beyond the traditional email marketing kit and develop an interactive, always-up-to-date section on your website that enables highly engaged individuals to promote the event for you.

The site should house sample images, social media posts, blog content, email content, etc. This website-first approach will prevent key supporters from relying on outdated information. It will also increase your ability to track engagement and determine ROI.

3. Demand “Start-to-End” Conversion Tracking

Employ a conversion tracking strategy across all platforms to better understand your customers’ journey. This allows you to make adjustments to content, programming and/or navigational tools based on data. Depending on your technology set-up, implementing conversion tracking may require outside assistance — and of course the support of your technology providers. However, the rich, actionable data you receive will be well worth the time and investment.

4. Lean Into Google AdWords Remarketing

You’ve already gotten the hard part: getting someone to come to your website. Rather than hope that they are on your distribution lists, employ Google AdWords remarketing through your website so all users see display and/or text-based advertisements once they leave your site. This approach keeps your event top of mind without the need to gather their specific contact information for your traditional email marketing campaign.

5. Integrate to Avoid Misinformation

When selecting potential vendor partners, make sure they have an open API (application programming interface) that supports integrations with all of your critical technology platforms, such as your membership platform, email and/or marketing automation system, and your mobile app. Having a direct flow of information not only allows you to see a richer picture from which to take action, but also takes away much of the error-prone grunt work making multiple updates across multiple platforms. There will always be changes to content, programming, etc., for trade shows, but if you can quickly and adeptly make the necessary updates, your stakeholders will notice.

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Partner Voices
Dallas already boasts 35,000 hotel rooms, award-winning global cuisine, and a walkable downtown. But we are just getting started. Visit Dallas is thrilled to announce that the city of Dallas is doubling down with a massive new convention center and entertainment district. Featuring 800,000 square feet of exhibit area, 260,000 square feet of meeting rooms, and 170,000 square feet of ballroom. The center will connect business travelers with dining and shopping options in the popular Cedars District means more places to get down to business, and even more ways to unwind. “Dallas is already a great meetings and conventions destination, with the accessibility of two major airports, affordable labor, and an outstanding hotel product,” said D. Bradley Kent, Visit Dallas senior vice president and chief sales officer. “The new center and Convention Center District will enhance Dallas’ competitive position and are exactly what our customers’ need and have been asking for." What’s New – AT&T Discovery District Located in the heart of Downtown Dallas, this new district on the AT&T corporate campus is tailor-made for groups of all sizes. It boasts a multi-sensory experience, including outdoor event space, the AT&T Theater, and multiple dining outlets including JAXON Beer Garden and The Exchange, a bustling food hall. Hotels Coming Soon Names like the JW Marriott (Downtown), lnterContinental Dallas (Uptown), and Hotel Swexan (Uptown) are adding luxury amenities and bountiful event spaces. The projects will debut in 2023 and beyond. JW Marriott This new, 15-story, 283-room hotel will open in the heart of the city’s downtown Arts District this year. The property features a 25,000-square-foot grand ballroom, as well as a spa, restaurant, lobby bar, fitness center, and a rooftop pool deck and bar. InterContinental Dallas  Located in Cityplace Tower in Uptown, InterContinental Dallas will feature sweeping panoramic views of the Dallas skyline. Guests will enjoy spacious, high-end rooms and amenities, including more than 21,000 square feet of event space.   Hotel Swexan Hotel Swexan, a new, 22-story luxury property, is rising in Uptown’s Harwood District and will make its mark on the Dallas skyline. Opening this year, it is a sculptural building with cantilevered upper floors, as well as a 75-foot rooftop infinity-edge swimming pool and a hidden underground lounge.