5 tips to being a marketing content hero at your next trade show
Even in the digital age, good old-fashioned industry events like expos and conferences continue to deliver value for companies that make smart choices, prepare thoroughly and execute well. Whether your event goals are relationship-building with influencers or securing POs, and whether you have a large demo booth or are just walking the floor, events can provide rocket fuel for your online marketing efforts. Content production is the gas that online marketing runs on, and the more raw material you have to work with, the better. We’ve focussed on photos here, which are most likely your biggest value.
Here are five tips to coming home a hero:
- Consider your pre-, during and post-event options. Would your social media audience want to know what’s coming up? Decide if you’re going to do a post-event wrap-up report and let them know to look for it and when. Announce if you’ll be posting live Instagram Stories or live tweeting and when. Is some of the content going to go live without going through Marketing? Or are you emailing them images and notes in batches? If you’re going to do a post-event wrap-up, block out time after you get back to create something timely and good looking. How are you going to distribute it? Your Marketing team should guide you on the plan and what will best help the company meet its marketing goals.
- Make an in-the-field content game plan. Work with Marketing to create a simple checklist of what you want to try to capture. This isn’t an assignment sheet, it’s your sanity saver. From brochures to your notes, keep an eye out for written content that will increase value to your audience. And, ideally, Marketing will be able to tell you how they want to use any images and give you examples of successful event shots. Are there notables that would be great to get a photo with? If you’re speaking, arrange in advance for someone to get a few decent shots of you. Pick a focus and make that a priority, with everything else being a bonus. Do your customers love getting a sneak peek at the latest trends and newest products? Plan to focus on that.
- Designate the best person for the job. If you’re going to the event by yourself, it’s all you. But if several of you are going, determine who is the best photographer and put them in charge of the content harvest plan. Delegating portions is fine, but the best photographer should lead the charge.
- Practice taking photos ahead of time. Today’s smart phones generally have cameras that are OK enough for social media posts, but whoever is taking photos still need to know how to take a decent shot. Look for online resources like this guide and practice, practice, practice. Don’t apply filters or crop anything; that can happen in the final editing step. Think of the photos as rough drafts. If you’re live posting, get familiar with what makes a compelling image and interesting, on-brand copy. If possible, use a solid point-and-shoot camera (or better).
- Edit, then edit again. A picture paints a thousand words — whether it’s a good picture or a bad picture — and you want those words to speak well of your company. It’s best if you can review all the images you’ve harvested with your marketing team and a skilled photo editor. Edit out the images that don’t make the cut and work with a short list of best images. Then have those professionally edited.