As event calendars are filling to the rim on devices across the industry, for many brands, this means attending showcases, roadshows, parties, launches and various other vendorship opportunities. Your products are packed, the passes are printed and you’re all set to meet and greet new and potential customers.

But how does one do well on digital while simultaneously making these connections in real life?

We have compiled a top ten list of ways to succeed on social media while finding (and feeding) foodies, fans and colleagues on-site at your next event.

1. Do your Homework

Before the event takes place, find out who’s attending; sponsors, media, influencers, additional vendors, etc. This is prime time to find new brand advocates for your business among the community members who are making an appearance.

It’s also a great time to connect with those covering the event for the sake of rapport, network building and potentially additional publicity.

2. Utilize the Official Hashtag

When sharing content on social networks before, during and after the event, be sure to find an utilize the official hashtag (if applicable). When time allows, browse who else has connected to it, a great way to initiate or continue Tip #1.

3. Develop Key Messaging

How can others have an idea of what to say about you and your business if even you don’t yet know the right thing to publish about yourself? Gather need-to-know information, fun facts and other tidbits while also paying attention to formatting for each social channel. Word count awareness and link-shortening tools are especially helpful here.

4. Be Findable

Make it as easy to find your booth on-site as it is to search for your business online. Let users know where exactly they can find your brand at an event, and during what times, if possible.

5. Invite your Influencers

Your influencers are a special fanbase, like your own well-polished cheerleaders, always ready to cheer and sing your brand’s praises. Ask them to come to the event for extra coverage of your participation and, if possible, provide them with comps as an additional thank you.

6. Make Peers, Not Competitors

Your event is not a war-zone and the other vendors are not the enemy. There’s nothing taboo about networking with the businesses and brands taking part. Find peers you can truly synergize with. If your company sells muffins, talk shop with the brand selling butter or jam. Collaborate on social if it feels right. Ex. Grabbing a muffin from Stacey’s Muffins? Don’t forget the jam at Jerry’s Jam Spot! #FoodExpo17

7. Take the Offline Online

Once your newest fans have met you on-site, make sure they know where to find you online once they’ve left. Aesthetically display your social handles in visible places among your booth and on any takeaway literature.

8. Encourage Engagement

Be sure to teach your event staff how to casually invite customers to continue the conversation on their social media channels. If possible, have someone present at the festival who is designated to take real-time photos of engagement and various brand hero moments to post and tag throughout the date(s).

Don’t forget to engage those already participating in digital discussions, especially the ones using the event hashtag.

9. Activate Spontaneity and Special Promos

One-up your social activity through on-site contesting, random giveaways or rewards for those who take the extra step to engage your brand online. This will turn fans for a day into fans for long-term.

10. See Past your Smartphone

Social media is about being social, not stuck staring at a screen for hours while the world passes by your booth. Make friends in real life, you can scroll your Facebook friends later.

Say no to #FOMO

Say no to #FOMO

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