How NOT To Use Social Media For Event Lead Generation

angry twitterMuch has been written about how to incorporate social media into event and trade show planning, yet time and time again businesses make the same mistakes.

Your social media strategy for trade shows and events should have one goal: Attract people to your booth and get their contact details using a lead capture tool.

With that in mind, here are a few common things to avoid when executing your social strategy for your next trade show or event. If you avoid these pitfalls, you should see your leads grow.


You Don’t Have A Target Audience

Trying to establish yourself as an authority or thought leader on social media before, during and after an event is challenging because there’s so much noise — and it’s further complicated when you don’t have a key group of people you are trying to speak to. If you assume that using the event hashtag to tell people to visit your booth is enough, think again. See your next trade show as an opportunity to extend your social network and speak to a group of experts or consumers in a different space. This includes also trying to get them to follow you and engage in social conversations before the event so they have an interest in meeting you while there.

You Only Talk About Yourself

No one likes that annoying exhibitor who follows you around a trade show trying to get you to visit their booth. The same can be said for social media. A good rule of thumb is to talk about others 80 percent of the time and talk about yourself just 20 percent of the time. There are a lot of event conversations that you can jump in on, which have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with making the attendees’ experience better. Why not tweet about logistics like where to get food that day? Or maybe even post a map of the building layout or nearby parking lots? Most importantly, LISTEN to the things that people are saying on social media during the event and don’t miss out on opportunities to get brand exposure. Trade show and event marketer, Traci Browne, tells Exhibitor Magazine about a time when she tweeted “Do any exhibitors have new technology I should be writing about in my publication?” and only one exhibitor responded.

You Forget About Videos

Videos are often neglected in a content calendar for event and trade show marketing because businesses think they are complicated and expensive. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Beyond taking footage of the event which may include snippets of presentations by keynote speakers or someone winning a prize, you should consider capturing customer testimonials. If one of your fans stops by your booth, whip out your iPhone and take a one minute clip. Worry about the polishing, refinement and editing later — and if necessary, you can outsource it. You can even create shorter videos on Vine and Instagram. The only kind of video that might require a bit more work is a pre-event teaser video about a new product or killer contest you’ll be showing off at the trade show.


If you avoid the above social media mistakes at your next trade show, you’ll be light years ahead of your competitors. And hopefully, people who’ve never heard of your company will swing by your booth and in the process sign-up for your newsletter.

Shereen Dindar
Shereen Dindar was a Content Manager at QuickTapSurvey in 2015 and 2016. Have a story idea? Email us at