We live in a digital age, and therefore to make the most of your time at an event like the Arabian Travel Market, you need to cover both a physical and virtual presence. The good news here is that thanks to the masses of social media platforms at our fingertips today, connecting with others and sharing what is important to you has never been more easy or accessible.
Whether you’re an exhibitor or an attendee, here are our top five tips for maximising your online presence during the ATM.
- Firstly, you need to make the most of the ATM site – it’s there to help!
Sign up, create your profile, and navigate the site to find the exhibitors you want to meet, and the exhibits and seminars you want to see. The majority of exhibitors leave their contact details on the Exhibitor Directory, but there is also an on-site email application – so there is no excuse for not getting in touch beforehand, be proactive!
Note: The site has also made it possible for you to build your own Show Planner. You can favourite exhibitors to keep tabs on what they have planned, and create a shortlist of your interests, and the relevant conference sessions get automatically added. In addition, the ATM site has helpfully created a meeting planner and a customisable calendar, so you can organise even the smallest details of your day.
- Two words: Social Media
Do not underestimate the power of social media! With only a week before the event begins, now is the time to be interacting with people and companies you want to connect with. Here are some reasons why the two big dogs of the social media scene – Twitter and Facebook – are going to be imperative to a strong online presence.
Twitter is perfect for informal social interaction
Make sure you follow @ATMDubai and tweet to them about how much you are looking forward to the event. They might even share your tweets and get you out there!
Next, find the people or companies you have arranged to meet, or want to meet, and begin tweeting at them. A little bit of interaction now will make you stand out. It also might ease social trepidations when it comes to the big meet.
Make sure you include this year’s official hashtag #ATM2014 in any ATM-related tweets you make; you never know who might come across your Twitter profile whilst looking over the #ATM2014 stream. In turn, monitor the use of the hashtag and look out for any opportunities to engage with likeminded or influential attendees.
Don’t forget to:
o Ensure your tweets speak with a consistent brand/persona voice that you feel best portrays your services
o Create interesting tweets! It sounds obvious but ultimately you need to think about what your key audience want to see, and possibly share. One funny or interesting tweet is more likely to receive a better response than one hundred generic ‘Come and visit us…’ tweets. Make sure to tweet pictures, videos, and links too – anything relevant that you think is interesting or enjoyable.
- Facebook is a powerful marketing tool
The social media site is a great space to keep followers up to date, strengthen your brand identity, and expand your reach.
To maximise its effectiveness with the ATM, why not write some engaging content that includes ideas and tips for attendees (perhaps in a similar approach to this very article you are reading now), and post it on your Facebook page? You could even get it viewed by your ATM peers by sharing it on the official ATM Facebook page. Again, make sure you make the most of hashtags!
You can also use the site to Like other companies’ pages and keep tabs on their activity, thus preparing yourself as much as possible.
P.S. When it comes to the actual event, you will need to keep an eye on any virtual interactions you might receive, and keep up to date with what others are posting. Keep your posts as regular as possible, and try to schedule some posts beforehand (this is easy enough to carry out thanks to sites like hootsuite.com).
Note – of course there are the other noteworthy and valuable social media platforms: LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc. Send invites, post, share, and get connecting!
- Email Marketing
By now you should have ideally gotten in touch with all of the people you want to meet – which will mean that you have their contact details. Design an email template to send to your contacts telling them how much you are looking forward to meeting them. You could even include a little bio for you or your company in the email, summarising your skills sets/services. Similarly to social media interactions, this will ensure that you stay fresh in peoples’ minds, and it should also make a pretty good impression.
Sites like www.mailchimp.com make the design process easy, and also allow you to track the emails that you send.
- Post original content
As aforementioned, creating original content about the event could provide some great benefits. This could take shape in articles, infographics, videos, posters etc., whatever you think will engage fellow ATM attendees.
Your content, spread with the assistance of email and social media platforms, could lead to shares and traction, profile and brand awareness, possibly new contacts, and maybe even new business! Hurrah!
Remember, if your content is relevant, interesting, or useful enough, then people will share it. Once it is being shared, the marketing is almost being done for you.
Blogs are a seriously underestimated social medium. Blogging can help establish you or your business as a credible industry authority, especially if you are posting valuable content. Blogs also have the potential to increase traffic and sales, develop brand awareness and identity, extend your audience reach, provide an effective PR source, alongside many other uses that I cannot possibly discuss, explain and stress the importance of in this singular article.
To strengthen further your online presence during the Arabian Travel Market, post regular updates of the event from your perspective, including photos, links, and videos on your blog. If you have no blog, well, there is no time like the present: create one, or create a live feed that posts your updates to your site and social media accounts. And at the end of each day, ensure you post a summary of the day’s events, and see about getting it shared on the ATM Facebook page or LinkedIn group.
The Arabian Travel Market social media platforms: