Better Virtual Trade Show Sponsorship – Booth Content (Part 1)

by Maria Pergolino on April 13, 2009

 

This week I am going to do a series of 5 blog posts, one each day of the week, focusing on how to improve your lead generation and branding efforts during a virtual trade show. These posts should benefit sponsors of these types of events.

 

These are thoughts I had after sponsoring many virtual trade shows (exhibiting as a sponsor) and then attending the MarketingProfs’ Digital Marketing Mixer last week as a participant.

 

The topics of my blog posts this week will be:

  • Content in your booth
  • Negotiating your participation
  • Promoting the event before the show
  • Promoting your product throughout the show
  • Engaging contacts after the show

 

Today’s post will be about content in your booth.

 

Sponsor booths typically have white papers, demos, company information, contact information, and a link to the company website. But the booths at virtual events can link to any online content and can promote any collateral held online. This means you can link to quizzes, demos, social media posts, and more. Why not make your booth more interesting and interactive by putting different types of content in your booth. Some ideas include:

 

  • Social Media streams: put a link up that shows the conversations happening about the event on social media sites. An easy way to do this would be through Twitter search. You can set this up to show information about everything happening at the event or what is being said about your product depending on the search query you use for the stream
  • What’s New: this is a great way to promote upgrades and new products to current customers who attend the event and will let prospects know you are always innovating and upgrading
  • Upcoming Events: Why not post information about events you will be presenting at, allow attendees to instantly sign up for future webinars, or sign up for a physical event? This way they know where they can find you next
  • Invite a friend: allow members to suggest people that are good prospects for your product
  • Newsletter sign up: allow members to sign up for a newsletter or other promotions in your booth. Even though you will receive the contact names of people at the event, why not let them opt-in to your messages. This will make them less likely to opt-out later
  • Tools: Demandbase had great success with a widget they promoted in their booth. Give the attendees something free for spending time with you
  • Quizzes/Demos/Videos: Allow participants to click through and watch a demo or video, or allow participants to take a quiz. It’s a fun way to involve participants instead of just posting up content for them to read. This will allow for more immediate interaction as well, since white papers and brochures are often just downloaded for future consumption, and often not reviewed at all

 

Also, I noticed one of the sponsors had posted job openings they had at their organization. I thought this was a very interesting way to connect with participants. The obvious benefit is finding qualified prospects for the organization, but it also allowed for a unique way to segment. For example, if someone from the show was interested in a communications job and your company has a product that is applicable to communications professionals, it allows you to segment that prospect in a way that other sponsors of the event could not.

 

For anything besides white papers and brochures, which people want to download, host the content online and use unique urls to track how many people viewed content during the show. Simply give the event organizer a unique url instead of the direct one that clicks to the desired page. You can even do this for links to social media sites, by creating a url off of your domain that forwards to the social media site. Also, for your downloadable content, like white papers and brochures, make the urls in the papers unique, so if someone read them on their computer and then clicks through to your site, an offer, or for additional information, you know it originated from that white paper that was download from the virtual show. By gathering this data, you will know what attendees liked viewing so that you can duplicate the successful content for your next virtual online event.

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