Making the most of FIT




David Glenwright


From designing the stand to choosing the perfect promotional products, preparing for a big show takes a lot of time and effort. After all, you’re spending a lot of money to be there, so you want to make sure you’re getting the best possible return on your investment, right? David Glenwright Head of Training & Special Projects at Birmingham-based JC Social Media tells how to make an impression off-site.

Focusing on your presence at the event is of course important, but in today’s world of business networking and lead generation, there is a wealth of untapped potential up for grabs, in the form of social media. There are nearly 3.4 billion active social media users around the world; and dominating the social media buzz around an event can have a significant impact in raising awareness and reinforcing your brand amongst those who visit your stand.

To make sure that you get the most out of your social media activity around an event, here are some top tips for planning things out before, during and after the big show.

Before the event – fortune favours the prepared

Of course, you’ll want to tell people about the event that you’re going to be at. Let them know where your stand will be located (using other, bigger stands as a point of reference if you have only a small space), and make sure you start using the event hashtag.

Preparation doesn’t stop at what you say however. One of Twitter’s most underused features is the list – a way of filtering your news feed so that you only see posts from certain accounts. Anyone can be added to a list, just hit the menu button next to ‘follow’ and you’ll see it there. Use this tool to collate speakers, sponsors and other exhibitors so that you can quickly and easily see what’s being said about the event.

During the event – it’s all about flavour

It’s tempting once you’re at the event to provide a detailed play-by-play commentary of what’s going on. However, it is important to bear in mind who it is you are trying to engage with, and what it is you are trying to say. Instead of trying to document everything, focus on giving just a flavour of what’s happening. What was the highlight moment from a speaker? Are people enjoying your product demonstrations?

If you want to post a lot more, then consider using Instagram or Facebook Stories. These channels produce content that is deleted after 24 hours, so is far more suited to live event coverage than posting to your main Facebook news feed 12 times in a day

After the event – thank, review, repeat

Packing up at the end of the event includes thanking people on social media. All being well, you will have a host of new followers and people that you’ve engaged with – thank them for being part of a great event and give them a flavour of what else they might expect from your account in the future.

Once you are back in the office, take the time to review the performance of your content. Which posts got the most likes and comments? What content drove the most traffic to your website? Which posts struggled to get any engagement at all? Make a note of the best and worst performing content and keep it in a folder to one side – it will be a great starting point when you begin planning for your next event.

When you are planning your social media strategy around an event, it is important to remember one thing – social media is about relationships. You would not immediately jump on someone who visits your stand shouting: “would you like to buy my product!?” The same logic applies to social media. Think carefully about what will be of relevance and interest to your audience. Before long, you won’t need to be selling to them, because they will be choosing to buy from you.

David Glenwright will be at the FiT Show on Wednesday 22nd May where he’ll be speaking at the Insight Theatre and running social media surgery sessions throughout the day.