Social Media and Tradeshow Marketing (Results)

Tradeshow marketing

Echelon Design, in conjunction with Exhibitor Media Group, had sponsored a survey in October of 2009 to learn how companies are using social media tools for marketing purposes, including event and tradeshow marketing campaigns. On January 15, 2010, the survey results were tabulated and released. Selected data points from this study will be published in the January 2010 issue of Exhibitor magazine and the Spring 2010 issue of Corporate EVENT magazine.

383 completed surveys were tabulated by corporate exhibit and event professionals responsible for their organization’s tradeshow and event marketing programs. Below are some highlights from the results. You can access the full report here.

The Facts

Respondents who have incorporated social media into their exhibit marketing efforts, along with 24 percent of respondents who have used social media as part of their company’s B2B and/or B2C corporate events.


They also have used social media for more general marketing and branding purposes, excluding exhibits and events.


Respondents who have used social media as an exhibit-marketing tool set measurable objectives prior to implementing their social-media campaigns.

Some of those indicated their social-media efforts met or exceeded those preshow objectives.


Respondents who believe social media has “limitless” potential in the context of exhibit and event marketing.

An additional group believe it has “moderate” potential.

Companies that have not used social media as part of their marketing efforts cite “lack of time to dedicate to social media” as the primary reason.


Respondents who expect the value and importance of social media as a marketing tool to increase “strongly” or “somewhat” in the coming year.

The Data

Social networking sites represent the most common tool used by companies to promote their corporate events

Currently, nearly half of all exhibiting companies (46%) report using social media for marketing as part of their exhibit promotion efforts

The Response

By using Twitter at a recent trade show, my company was able to drive brand awareness among attendees. We were also able to increase the amount of traffic to our booth.

Using social media, we increased attendance at our regional meetings by 50 percent over prior years, and did so at about 50 percent of the cost.

Every day I broadcast daily e-mail promotions on our Twitter account. We track clickthroughs and sales, and we can actually see incremental sales from our tweets.Twitter also allows us to extend our marketing reach to niche markets that aren’t available to us otherwise.

The use of a mix of social-media platforms has increased our booth attendance as well as increased participation in online events (Webinars, etc.) that translate directly into sales.

Social media has increased our search engine optimization scores/rankings. We plan to continue using it as part of our marketing efforts.

The Takeaway

These results are supportive of a tradeshow industry, and marketing in general, that is embracing social media and web design on an increasing scale. As a sponsor of this survey, we are proud to provide you access to the full report. You can read the results in their entirety here.

Are you planning to use social media in your tradeshow marketing campaign? Are you already using it? We’d love to hear your success stories and comments regarding this survey. For a recent example, check out “How to be Social at a Tradeshow.”


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