So, you’ve booked your events and exhibitions for 2023, whether you’re planning a host of regional shows, focusing on a niche sector, or perhaps going big at the next William-Reed expo, there are some simple things you can do to boost awareness around your stand, get more traffic and help market your business pre, during and post show. As a leading food and drink marketing and PR agency we know a thing or two about foodie shows and how to make the most of them. So here are our 10 top tips…

1. Make a time plan
Events can come around all too quickly and marketing and PR starts early. Especially if you want to make the most of the added support from the organiser. If your event does provide an exhibitor zone, log in and check all the deadlines they have in place, and the opportunities you can take advantage of. This will include your exhibitor profile, downloading assets and even deadlines from the show’s press office, so you can get involved in previews, showcases and sampling – the early bird catches the worm!

2. Tell your PR agency
A good food and drink agency can help you with your planning and support you around the show – so as soon as you book tell them! They can help you reach out to the organiser to confirm hashtags, previews and help you plan your social content before, during and after the event. They’ll also be key in inviting press onto your stand and capturing content while you focus on networking and sales conversations.

3. Shout about it on socials
Make sure your brand is following that event and you are using the right hashtags. Planning in posts that share that you are excited to be exhibiting and what visitors can expect will not only inform your following but support the show too. This can lead to the organiser sharing your post to their audience and help you reach a wider audience. Don’t forget to always tag the show and include your stand number. As the event gets closer gradually increase your posts.

4. Invite people
An exhibition is not only a fantastic opportunity to generate new leads but also be a great chance to network and strengthen existing relationships. If you haven’t seen someone in a while (what with Covid and all!), use it as an excuse to reach out and see if they are planning a visit – you can’t beat a personal invite. Post on your personal LinkedIn and help your company spread the word. Along with prospects, shows also provide a fantastic platform for the press to learn about your latest products and catch up with you. Work with an established food and drink PR agency who can help you manage your invite list and support you on stand.

5. Write your show release
Your show will release will prove invaluable when it comes to your PR, including online exposure. Event press offices use them to help plan their showcases and previews, you can also submit them independently to the relevant food and drink press to consider for articles as well as plan their visit. And don’t forget to upload it on to your exhibitor profile, brand’s news page and use as part of your press pack.

6. Make the most of social pins and event countdowns
Depending on your other activities at the time, pins are a fantastic way to keep the event top of mind for your social audience, take advantage of those event settings and countdowns.

7. Have a stand hook
It’s not always possible to have a new food or drink launch, so give visitors and the press another reason to come by your stand. This can be sample giveaways, demos or even a competition to win a business boosting prize – just don’t forget GDPR and promotional best practice. Again a good food and drink agency can help you with these.

8. Post on stand
After months of planning be sure to post all the live action using that hashtag, including testimonials and cooking demos. This will help you reach new audiences and can encourage more people to visit your stand. You can also benefit from the halo effect of tagging the show and visitors to your stand. Planning and knowing who to tag in advance will help you even more. So be prepared and ideally have a dedicated member of the team or your agency there to make sure your social works hard ideally with video content to help your stand ‘stand out’.

9. It doesn’t stop once the show stops
Once the show is over, as well as following up on those all-important sales leads, take time to review all that fantastic content you captured. Use it to tap into the post-show buzz and beyond! Not only will the organisers be grateful, but it will also encourage those visitors who didn’t make it to get in touch directly. Depending on activity you could create videos and reels of recipe demos and visitors’ reactions to support your digital presence long after the exhibition has finished.

10. Build post show social relationships
Make sure you follow any businesses on social media that you managed to data captured during the show. Thank them for stopping by and make sure to engage with them as part of your community management. By doing this the legacy of your show lives on and you can nurture these leads not just via email marketing but also via social.

Here’s to some very successful shows in 2023. Don’t forget if you need any help planning, designing, running or publicising your show calendar do get in touch here