6 Questions to Ask to Integrate Social Media Apps into Exhibit Space

These days when you’re comparing trade shows, you have a new factor to consider: whether the show offers an integrated platform for social media. These platforms, such as GoExpo and ChirpE, help link exhibitors and attendees in a new and exciting dimension.

When you consider these platforms, ask yourself the following six important questions:

1. How does the software bring together attendees and exhibitors?
ChirpE works by  integrating familiar applications and services, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and FacebookGoExpo is proprietary, but offers newsletter capabilities and maps of the floorplan so attendees can easily find your booth.

2. What’s the learning curve?

You may not have much time to learn to use the interface. A well-designed, intuitive system should make things much easier.

3. What usage metrics does the software offer, and when are the results available?

Measurable effectiveness is vital. Look for software that gives you clear, targeted reports in a reasonable amount of time.

4. What support is offered?

In the midst of a busy trade show, you need reliable service. Find out what kinds of support are available and what the downtime is.

5. How about data format and backups?

If the software allows you to gather names for your mailing list, you will need a way to save that data—and in a format that lets you use it later.

6. What is the privacy policy?

You may be entrusting important company data, from customer lists to passwords, to a third party. Make sure the information is secure.

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Good News on the (Trade Show) Marketing Budget: Trends for 2010 – Part 2

What’s ahead for trade shows and other marketing efforts in 2010?

Last week, I referred you to the StrongMail “2010 Marketing Trends” survey which polled more than 1,000 business leaders across a wide range of industries about their marketing plans for the upcoming year. This week I’ll continue reviewing the trends.

Trend: Everybody is jumping on the social media bandwagon. A whopping 59% of surveyed companies will be increasing their social-media budgets. How many will be spending less? A mere 3%.

Social media has become the new essential tool for marketing.

3 things this means to you:

1.  Choose the right social networks. Twitter covers almost every audience. Facebook and Myspace pages work best for products with consumer appeal. LinkedIn groups are most appropriate for BtoB marketing.

2. Stay on message. The speed and flexibility of social media can be a huge advantage, but it can also be a pitfall. Set clear guidelines for all communications, and review the messages and results regularly.

3. Use social media to support trade show exhibits. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn can allow you to increase the effectiveness of your trade show appearances. You’ll reap great benefits when you integrate social media into your overall marketing strategy.

“Twitter: Best Practices and Tips”
If you’ve felt like tweeting for quite some time now, but didn’t know where to start, this guide is for you.

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Good News on the (Trade Show) Marketing Budget  – Trends 2010 – Part 1

In November the StrongMail “2010 Marketing Trends” survey polled more than  1,000 business leaders across a wide range of industries about their marketing plans for the upcoming year. For the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing those trends and giving you tips to make them work for you and your company.
Trend: For almost everyone, marketing budgets (particularly tradeshow budgets) should hold steady or increase. At 48%, more companies will be boosting their budgets than just keeping them the same (41%). A mere 11% of executives said they were allocating less money for marketing. With the economy on the upswing, marketing efforts can make a huge difference now.

What this means to you:
•    Spend smarter, not harder. Make the most of the budget you have by careful targeting. Invest in the trade shows that are likely to give you the best return.
•    Make new friends, but keep the old. In terms of profit, an established customer is worth from five to seven times what a new customer is worth. Send your current customers special invitations to come to your booth. Show them how much you appreciate their loyalty.
•    Out of sight doesn’t have to be out of mind. Maintain the connections you make at trade shows with targeted emails, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media.

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