This year, Acceleris attended The Commercial Vehicle Show (CV Show) at the famous NEC in Birmingham. As specialists in motor sector communications, we were there to support our exhibiting clients and to see what opportunities there were to bring their brands to new audiences.
With over 20,000 business in attendance last year, 2017 was set to be the biggest in The CV Show’s 16 year history. From trucks to tyres, telematics to trailers and tow bars to temperature controlled transportation solutions, we descended on the show to help our clients stand out from the crowd.
Our CV Show clients
Part of our role on the day was using the event to create media ‘noise’ around the launches to trade media, arranging interviews and selling in the stories across client and partner social media channels.
While ultimately our clients were there to push sales, trade shows present a number of ways for businesses to promote their services to new and existing audiences. There are a variety of tactics which should be deployed by anyone attending a show.
Growing online audiences should be an ongoing objective for every business and trade shows present the perfect arena to do this. There may be tens of thousands of potential customers at the show itself, but there may be hundreds of thousands following online.
For example, the hashtag #CVShow was used over 700 times in just 24 hours on Twitter during the last day of The CV Show alone, reaching almost 850,000 different accounts! To make the most of this ‘free’ publicity, sound social media strategies must be in place to ensure there is a constant stream of scheduled and reactive posts. This will not only grab the attention of those not attending a show but it may encourage customers on the show floor to swing by your stand in search of the latest live launches
When drafting social media posts, be mindful of which key terms people may be searching for. Similarly, to optimise your copy online for search engines (SEO), you can drop keywords into your social media posts to push people through to your own channels. Use of imagery is also imperative – Twitter spans 140 characters but a picture says a thousand words and gives people a taste of what they’re missing!
While focusing on perfecting your own posts is important, you should be following progress of trade shows throughout their duration via other accounts too. For example, on Twitter, a retweet or reply goes a long way. It’s an easy way to interact with others and presents your business as friendly and open to conversation online.
Hit the headlines
Building good relationships with existing customers is essential but many businesses attend trade shows to drum up new business. One useful tip is to see which representatives from your sector’s trade press may be attending and seek them out prior to a show. Journalists work to tight deadlines and have hectic schedules and it’s all too easy to be ignored. It’s always worth seeking the advice of a PR agency which can help put you pole position in the race to secure media coverage, allowing you to contribute to conversations ahead of competitors.
So there’s only one thing left, and that’s to share our top tips for social media use during trade shows.
Top Trade Show Tips for Shining on Social
- Pre-arrange your meetings – While it’s fantastic to stumble across a golden contact it’s always best to try and arrange a time and place to meet your chosen contacts before the show. Connecting through LinkedIn is a good way to introduce yourself to prospects and following key journalists on social media is advised
- Prepare, plan, react – Schedule social media posts throughout the duration of the show but be sure to keep an eye on live social streams before, during and after, responding to trends and engaging with others. Posting photos from any event is a must
- Tool up! – There is a plethora of free social media tools out there. Hootsuite allows posts to be scheduled from multiple social media platforms with surgical precision while Keyhole enables users to track hashtags, keywords and mentions in real-time allowing you to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s hot and what’s not
- Get Creative – Canva is another great tool for bringing your posts to life through use of creative imagery