How to keep “social” at an exhibition

So you are attending an industry exhibition, you have some clear objectives on what you are looking to achieve, you know which stands you are planning to visit and the seminars you wish to attend.

But, do you consider social media in this plan?

With the rise of platforms like Twitter and Instagram, it's easier than ever for conference organisers to put their in-person events online in real time. And while this is great promotion for the conference, it's good for you, too. Being active on social media during an exhibition can help you with business branding, expand your network and get more out of the entire exhibition experience in general

PIF on social media

The PIF team are visiting key engineering events for the remainder of 2014 and these are some of the tips that we will be following.

PIF mobile home page

1. Always be positive!

Most exhibition tweets are filled with words of encouragement, inspirational sound bites from speakers and news on the latest innovations that they have seen at the event. So what should you be tweeting? Simple - The same thing!

Feel free to share your thoughts or opinions on what's happening, of course, but your goal should be to keep that good energy going and be positive on social media. Even if you don't like one of the speakers or completely disagree with something he or she said, be respectful online.

Remember: Not only will that person probably see your tweet afterward, but if you use the conference hashtag or tag the organisers, a lot of other people might see your comment too.

2. The correct hashtag

Speaking of the hashtag — make sure you use it! Conference hashtags are an awesome way to find all things conference-related in one place, figure out who's at the same event you are, and share your own thoughts and comments.

Make sure you're using the right one. Nothing is more awkward and frustrating than feeling like you've been tweeting up a storm about a great conference only to find that you've been using the wrong hashtag the entire time.

For Example – Engineering Design Show

Twitter Handle - @EngDesignShow
Show # - #EngDesignShow
Industry # - #automotive #engineering #design

3. Interaction within social media

Social media has the word "social" in it for a reason. In other words, don't be afraid to reach out to other people on Twitter or Instagram who are covering the event as well! This is where the beauty of that handy dandy conference hashtag comes in; just click the hashtag and comment, favourite, and re-tweet away.

An exhibition will usually have a live social stream within their website so this is a good way to see all the posts, active exhibitors and visitors in the same place. You can see below an example of an exhibition PIF are attending this week!

Tweeter Feed

Also, we encourage you to take your online exhibitions offline. If you've met someone else who's at the conference you generally like, make plans to meet up for lunch or find each other during a networking session. These can be some of the most valuable connections.

4. Don't over use social media

That said, it's easy to get wrapped up in live tweeting at the event that you totally forget that you're there to network and listen to great speakers.

If you in a breakout session where there are only 10 people in the room with you, we would advise that you put your phone away and pay attention — you can always sum up your thoughts on social afterwards.

The key to finding that happy medium is posting enough so that it's informative but not so much that it seems like you aren't even really paying attention to the event.

5. Have fun!

Last but not least, remember that social media is meant to be fun, so have a good time posting about the event. Not every post has to be an extremely serious piece of commentary of what you’re doing; you can also show the other sides of the conference, too.

For example, if there are some great stands at the event take a picture of the stand or products and tag those companies.

Are you attending any exhibitions, have a go….don’t forget to tag @pifalert into your tweet and let the team know how you are getting and what #engineeering #innovations you find interesting!

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