Swarms of people. Hour-long taxi cab lines. Bumper-to-bumper traffic. Achy feet.
If you’ve ever been to CES—one of the technology industry’s largest trade events—you know the mayhem is well worth the publicity. For one week annually, the technology industry comes together in Las Vegas to set the tone for the upcoming year. Next year, from Jan. 9-12, 2018, marketers will unlock their treasure chests and showcase their products to analysts, media, influencers, competitors and the public on the CES show floor.
Although many marketers are taking advantage of the prime opportunity for social media engagement leading up to and even after the show, some are missing out on a key window: real-time activity on the show floor. According to Wayin, 88 percent of marketers use social media before events. But, FreemanXP & Event Marketing Institute revealed only 55 percent of marketers use social media during an event.
Onsite social media is imperative because it allows you to engage with an influential audience to seed sales prospects and future marketing campaigns. Last year, CES 2017 entertained 187,000 industry professionals and earned almost 1 million Twitter mentions, 134 million Snapchat story views, 4.3 million Twitter video views and 39,000 Instagram mentions. Without an onsite social media plan for CES 2018, you risk missing out on the benefits of a captive and highly engaged audience.
Here are five tips you can use to maximize your time onsite at CES:
1. Develop an onsite objective
The first step to developing any social media plan is having an objective or focus. Based on your objective, you should create a social listening program to see what topics are relevant to your CES target audience. Native tools, like Twitter’s “Events” analytics, can provide unique insight into upcoming events. The insight gained from social listening programs should form the foundation of your social media strategy.
2. Have a dedicated social media representative
A successful event team has team members assigned to either logistics or social media, not both. During CES, social media personnel need to focus on joining real-time #CES conversations, sharing event takeaways and connecting with influencers. Logistics personnel will need to focus on providing a stand-out experience to booth visitors. If responsibilities are merged, either your customers’ online or in-person experience will suffer.
3. Host a Facebook Live session
While there are thousands of people at the show, there are millions who didn’t make the trip. Most likely, they’re your future customers so engage them early through Facebook Live. Successful videos have featured a one-on-one interview with an influencer or an insider preview of upcoming program events. Insider tip: Purchasing a mobile hotspot will help ensure a reliable internet connection in a densely-packed area.
4. Don’t promote visiting your booth while at CES
CES is overcrowded, has poor cell service and is so large that it’s easy to get lost. Therefore, the people who can visit your booth probably won’t see your plea for them to “come check out your booth.” Plus, you wouldn’t want to give your audience at home a dreaded case of FOMO (fear of missing out). Instead, promote that your booth will have its own Snapchat filter or giveaway prior to CES. That way, as people start to schedule their CES plans, they know why they should plan on visiting your booth.
5. Connect with technology influencers
CES is awash with technology industry analysts and gurus. Connect with them and start to seed influencer programs, which have proven to be a quality source for lead generation. Your social media listening program will provide insight into who’s going to be there and what they’re are interested in learning about at CES. Once you know who's who and their goals, determine if they’re a good fit for your brand and try to set up a meeting during the show or at an after party. Even if there’s not an immediate opportunity, follow up via email and continue to engage with their social media profiles.
While onsite social media is essential to maximizing your presence at CES, it should only be a facet of your overall marketing strategy. For more tips on how to prepare for all things CES, check out our latest eGuide.