Insight March 5, 2019

An Introduction to Trade Show Digital Marketing Support


Marketing at trade shows and conferences can be a fantastic way to increase awareness of your product, service, or company. Industry-specific events bring together a captive audience particularly inclined to find your business and message relevant to their needs, which is why 73 percent of B2B marketers say events are better than other tactics for customer engagement.

With the right preparation, you can use these events to generate leads, build brand awareness, or deepen relationships with your existing customers. After all, research shows that 87 percent of consumers said they purchased the brand’s product or service after an event at a later date.

Aside from the booth concept, design and event support, there are several other ways to promote your business at conferences and events where you have a physical presence – and even those where you do not, all with the help of trade show digital marketing.

Twitter Advertising

Promoting your presence at a trade show or conference should start before you ever set up your booth. Leading up to the event, you’ll want to tweet links to white papers, videos, or other media that teases your trade show appearance or reminds people of your product offerings. One great option is to announce any special giveaways in advance with information about how to find your booth inside the event.

Often, trade shows and conferences use social media hashtags as a way to help attendees communicate with one another and share information about the event sessions and exhibitors. You’ll want to use this hashtag for any conference- or trade show-related tweets to make sure attendees see your posts.

You can also create your own conference hashtag for attendees to use when talking about your products or services. Just perform a search to ensure no one else is using the hashtag. You’ll also want to have someone on hand to monitor your Twitter feed and respond, interact, Retweet or favorite, as necessary.

Finally, Twitter has the capability to serve ads within the streams of certain hashtags, helping your brand become part of the social conversation at the event. This a great trade show digital marketing tactic to use if there is a high likelihood that participants will be using one or more hashtags related to the event.


In the post, we’ve covered the basics about how you can use geofencing for location-based marketing. Using location-based targeting, or geofencing, at the venue of the event and hotels where attendees are staying is a great tactic for creating general awareness and sharing event-relevant information like booth location and features such as giveaways and promotional items. This is the crown jewel of trade show digital marketing tactics.

This form of hyper-local messaging for a trade show or conference is highly effective because it’s targeting consumers when they are likely ready to buy. After all, research shows that 82 percent of trade show attendees are directly involved in making purchase decisions for their company.

Ads served via geofencing show up on mobile devices and tablets as they would through the Google Display Network. They can be seen on popular websites and apps like CNN, Forbes, The Weather Channel App, My Fitness Pal, The New York Times, and CBS Sports. You can also target your ideal audience using demographic data (e.g., age, sex, interest). Price varies according to the duration of the event, number of attendees, size of the location, and other factors.

Often, companies will create a campaign-specific landing page to enhance the user experience and provide attendees with all the necessary information. Typically, you would create and launch this webpage prior to the event to establish your presence and the extent to which you’ll be participating. It also gives you a convenient lead generation page for mobile and geofencing ads during the event.

We’ve had several clients approach us about using geofencing as part of their overall trade show strategy.

  • During a conference in 2018, one of our clients gave Pro Bowl tickets to one lucky visitor at their booth. To increase booth attendance, we geofenced the conference and nearby hotels to advertise this prize to conference attendees. The ads received more than 54,000 impressions and had a click-through-rate of 0.15%.
  • Another client who attends multiple trade shows and conferences each year wanted to use geofencing ads to share booth information with attendees. At a recent event, their ads were seen more than 50,000 times and had a click-through-rate of 0.27%. At a smaller conference, they received over 25,000 impressions and a click-through-rate of 0.22%.

Trade Show Digital Marketing/Conference-Specific Advertising

Many events offer digital opportunities for businesses to advertise with the conference itself, ranging from sponsored emails to display ads on the conference’s website and app to social media posts on the event’s channels. Or, you could take out an ad targeting fans of the event on Facebook. What digital advertising options are available varies from event to event, so you’ll want to explore them fully to ensure you will maximize exposure and awareness.

Additionally, you may want to explore more traditional options for marketing your booth. You could have someone hand out fliers to people in hotel lobbies or bus/shuttle stops near the show. There are opportunities for any budget, depending on how inventive you can get.

Need help building your trade show digital marketing strategy? Let’s talk.

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