As trade shows and events (including our very own LinkedIn Local Brisbane CBD) are kicking off for the year, now is a great time to consider how you can leverage LinkedIn to enhance your networking, elevate your brand and nurture relationships.
Whether you’re a seasoned attendee or new to networking, applying a strategic approach to your participation in trade shows and events can take these interactions from social gatherings to powerful catalysts for growth and business opportunity.
With that in mind, here are 15 ways that you can fully leverage LinkedIn before, during and after attending a trade show or event to maxamise the opportunity.
Before the Event: Preparation and Networking
- Profile Positioning: Start by ensuring your personal LinkedIn profile and company page are up-to-date. If you are exhibiting at a trade show you can include this information in your banner and as a featured post.
- Strategic Connections: Use LinkedIn search to identify attendees, other exhibitors, speakers, and key people involved in the event. Reach out with a personalised connection request to start establishing a relationship before the event.
- Event Promotion: For event organisers, creating an event page on LinkedIn can significantly boost visibility of the event. As an event or trade show attendee, if the event has a LinkedIn event, you can register your attendance, see who else will be attending and network online before the event.
- Engage with the Event Community: Utilise LinkedIn to share your attendance and discuss the sessions or speakers you’re most looking forward to. Prior to the event, engage with content posted by the event’s speakers, other exhibitors or organisers. Research and employ event-specific hashtags to broaden your content’s reach.
- Sponsorship and Exhibitor Highlights: If you’re sponsoring or exhibiting at the event or trade show, share some of the exclusive offers, products, or services you’ll be showcasing at the event. This can generate anticipation and drive more foot traffic.
During the Event: Engagement and Community
- Live Updates: Keep your network in the loop with live updates, sharing key takeaways, photos, and quotes from the event. This keeps your LinkedIn profile active and engaging throughout the event.
- LinkedIn Videos: Utilise LinkedIn videos for behind-the-scenes content. This content type is perfect for capturing the atmosphere of the event in real-time.
- Engage with Attendees: Use the event’s official hashtag to find and interact with other attendees’ posts. Liking, commenting, and sharing these posts can foster new connections and enhance your visibility within the event’s community.
- Engage Small Community: Organise or participate in smaller group discussions and share this on LinkedIn. For example, if you are at a trade show, this could be another exhibitor that has a product that is complimentary to your business. Tagging participants and using event hashtags can broaden your networking circle.
- Connect and Engage: Use your LinkedIn QR code to connect and engage with event speakers, other exhibitors or organisers.
After the Event: Follow-Up and Nurture
- Thank You Posts: Create a post thanking the organisers, other exhibitors, speakers, and attendees. Highlight your key learnings or favorite moments to spark further engagement.
- Personalised Follow-Ups: Send personalised messages to new connections, referencing specific discussions or shared experiences from the event to reinforce the connection.
- Content Recap: Write a detailed recap of the event, including your personal experiences, the people you met, and the knowledge you gained. This can be a valuable resource for those who were unable to attend.
- Feedback and Testimonials: Offer constructive feedback or testimonials about the event and tag the organisers or speakers. This not only shows appreciation but also strengthens your relationship with the organisers. You might also like to leave a recommendation for people worked with during the event.
- Leverage Learnings: Share how the event has influenced your business strategy or professional outlook. This demonstrates your commitment to growth and can inspire your network to engage in meaningful discussions.
By strategically leveraging LinkedIn before, during, and after a trade show or event, you can significantly enhance your experience, fostering valuable connections and amplifying your brand presence.
If you are interested in harnessing the power of LinkedIn for your next trade show or event, let’s have a chat! You can visit our website, book a time to chat, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.