Establishing a strong social media presence will do wonders to your next trade show. However, many companies are afraid of social media because it takes commitment. To maintain visibility, you must stay active and provide followers with consistent, high-quality content. There are many benefits if you decide to commit.
Social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are valuable market research tools. In the weeks prior to your event, take time to research keywords and hashtags relevant to your show, brand and industry. This extracts useful insights from potential attendees. What are they excited about? Do they know you’ll be there? You can take social media analytics even deeper by using data mining tools to discover the most commonly used words, phrases, and sentiments.
A channel for communication
Make your presence known to users who are discussing the event by being active on social media. This can be done by responding to queries, liking posts on Instagram and Facebook and retweeting tweets. This reminds people you’re accessible and shows you care about customers. This personal touch will assist in increasing brand awareness and likely encourage users to visit your booth.
Your social media accounts should be considered one of your main channels for communication. For example, you could announce a “Live Q&A”. You can use this platform to answer questions about the event, company, and products at your exhibit.
What’s currently happening at your booth? For example, you could use social media to post about promotions, giveaways, or exciting demonstrations scheduled at your booth. You can even provide incentives to attendees who share it on their own timelines. (This will help build brand awareness too!)
Keep in mind that all your followers will not be there live. However, you should still use high-quality videos and photos that your followers can enjoy.
Customer satisfaction tool
Social media is an excellent customer satisfaction tool. Take the time to discover how users felt about the trade show overall — along with your booth, products, and competitors’ products. Ask for constructive feedback — they might provide useful insight that could help to improve your next trade show.
This follow-up process can save customer relationships. If a user has an issue or a question, immediately contact them with a solution. These small gestures will positively affect your reputation. Your company will likely be recognised as one that is proactive, relevant and open to communication.
Social media advantages in summary
In conclusion, if you commit to your social media accounts, you’ll reap the benefits at your next trade show. It will keep you fresh in attendees’ minds. Additionally, your company will build a reputation for being interactive and personable. Combining these advantages will lead to higher booth traffic, more sales leads, and a successful trade show.
If you asked me where I live I’d try my best to find an answer that would make you comfortable but the truth is “home” is not any one place to me. In July 2012, I made the decision to travel around the world. Exactly 8 months later, on March 20th 2013, I had turned my previously home-based business into a remote-based business, sold most of my possessions and left on the journey of a lifetime. Since that day, I’ve been lucky enough to travel across 3 continents. I’ve lived in Amsterdam, Bangkok, Bali and spent months on tropical beaches throughout Asia. The one and only constant in my non-conventional life is my job.
I consider myself extremely lucky to live in an age where technology allows for freedom. That said, many of the people I’ve travelled with were surprised to learn how much of my time is spent working. Buzz Promotions was successful before I left but I had no idea if my success would continue to grow, or if it was possible to uphold, once I left Canada. On average I spend 20-30 hours per week in cafes working off WiFi. You will rarely see me on the beach without my IPhone and spare battery. The truth is my nomadic life, freedom and flying to a new country every few months are things that motivate me. My job is my freedom therefore I hold it in the highest regard, perhaps more so than I did before I left.
One of the biggest career challenges I’ve faced is the reaction to working remotely. Of course, there have been clients and staff who’ve supported me and I am grateful they have. There’s also been a fair share of eyebrow raising, hesitation and nonacceptance. I’ve come to terms with people not understanding my nomadic lifestyle or the ins and outs of a business with virtually no in-person interactions. And although I accept these hesitations, I cannot personally relate to them. With Skype, VoIP phone services, online banking, Dropbox and social media, I can honestly say I’m MORE connected with my staff and clients now than when I was working from my home office in Canada. Even though I can’t be physically present for events, I make a point of being fully engaged from the other side of the world. Even while I lived in Canada, a lot of the time I was dealing with people in other provinces. It wasn’t until after I left that this became a concern for some individuals which in-turn prompted me to keep everything as under wraps as possible.
Over the last two years, I’ve run into many like-minded people, including several associates from Canada. I’ve found myself surrounded by opportunities to grow my business and provide valuable information and opportunities to my existing clients and staff. Recently, I created an Australian branch of Buzz Promotions during my time down under. I’ve scoped out Belgium chocolates, leather boots in Bangkok amongst many others. I made a point to reach out to these small business owners to create a lasting network that literally spans the globe. I believe these connections are assets to me and I am an asset to them. This goes for all my existing contacts “back home” in Canada as well. I’ve decided to use this blog as a platform to inspire others based on my experience. If somebody is hesitant to hire me because our physical distance makes them uncomfortable that’s okay. If the last two years of travel have taught me anything it’s that you should find connections, both personal and professional, that align with your goals, beliefs and opinions.
by Andrea Johnstone
THE ‘FLUCTUATING’ DOLLAR QUESTION: WHY PROMO AGENCIES STAFF PRICING AREN’T DEFINITIVE
As a seasoned Promotional Staffing Coordinator of 7 years, unsurprisingly, the first and most certain question I’m asked by potential and returning clients is “what is the cost?”; to which I am unable to provide an immediate answer in most cases. It’s an answer that will determine the outcome of our business partnership, and yet the topic of pricing has become increasingly complicated due to the saturation of promotional staffing market. To operate within the given marketing budget, most clients are likely asking this same question to several promo agencies. However, it’s as ambiguous as going to five different restaurants and asking “how much is your food?” and just as ill-advised as to go with the lowest bidder.
This is very much an industry where you get what you pay for. Many promotional representatives and brand ambassadors simultaneously work for multiple agencies as sub-contractors. The agency that provides its clients with the lowest bid will, in turn, offer the lowest wages. When wages decrease, so do the staffing pool and quality of staff. The highest-performing staff will likely pursue a higher paying job either by another client, or with another agency. In fact, there are agencies offering beautiful, experienced promotional staff and sending out inexperienced retirees in their place. These are the agencies who have undercut their competition and are now providing nothing more than then first respondent of a classified ad on their clients behalf.
Generally speaking, promo staff prices in Australia are in the $45-$60/hour range (fees included). To best execute your experiential marketing campaign, I will require specific details to negotiate and to provide an accurate quote for your business. Before you book your first promotional agency, here are some essential variables that will influence promo staff prices:
- Most importantly, please give me an idea of the budget you’re working with. So many times I’ve spent hours liaising with potential clients, trying to come up with a fair price for their request, only to find out in the end that their budget wouldn’t even cover my costs, let alone time.
- Where is the event? Rate range varies from region to region. Rural areas are far more difficult to staff and often require paid travel.
- What time is the event? If it requires driving at 3 am, chances are there will be a travel per diem.
- Is it a private event and if so will it be held in a private residence? This doesn’t come up too often but sending brand ambassadors to residential events comes with a lot more hesitation. We usually require a minimum amount of staff for safety reason, pay them slightly more and ask for 100% upfront.
- What are the uniform/outfit requirements? Bikini-clad roller-skating servers are going to be paid significantly more than street teams in jeans and branded tops. Mascots will also be compensated differently.
- What is the total number of hours/staff? There is definitely some wiggle room if you’re booking 100 hours but my business and my staff will suffer when I start to discount 10 hour contracts.
- Are you willing to sign an agreement right now, well ahead of time? If so, I’m happy to negotiate. Last-minute staffing requires tight deadlines and subsequently more work.
- What payment terms work for you? If a lower-than-average rate has been negotiated, payment will almost definitely be expected upfront and/or immediately following an event.
For on-going agreements such as tastings, demos and street teams, here are some other details to consider:
- How many shifts/hours/staff per week or month will you be booking? This can be a ballpark answer but this information is imperative when deciding or negotiating a price.
- Will you require product financing?
- Will you require training, materials and/or delivery? These are additional costs to be considered.
To provide your business with the best quality of service that suits your budget, a promotional agency needs to compensate our staff fairly. In order to stay competitive, most agencies choose not to disclose general prices on their websites and discuss rates by negotiation. If you are seeking out multiple agencies, it is the best to approach the matter in an ethical and transparent manner. If you come across a competitor offering a similar solution at a close price, please let me know. I’d love to match their rate or work with you to improve the original terms/services. Shopping around becomes detrimental if a client is considering price as their only basis or creating a bidding war – something I’ve seen happen and seen falsified many times in my career. When you have two or more agencies undercutting each other to obtain the contract, everyone involved suffers the consequences.
Please help us find a detailed solution that you will be satisfied with while remaining mindful of the expenditures, pressures, risk and diligent effort we take on in order to fulfill that satisfaction.
Buzz Promotions is your all-in-one solution for event and promotional staffing. We offer a full range of services Australia-wide, with a diverse roster of experienced promotional staff, including retail tasters, spokes models and brand ambassadors. Whether you have a large experiential marketing campaign, private event, or corporate function, Buzz Promotions builds customized staffing solutions to enhance brand recognition to your target demographic and add energy to any event. To view our past projects, please visit Client Testimonials.