A Look At Effective Content Marketing in Trade Shows

ExpoChat topic for Wednesday, September 17, 2014 – 3pm ET/noon PT

Moderator: Traci Browne (@tracibrowne)

Last week I had the opportunity to attend Content Marketing World, a Content Marketing Institute event, in Cleveland. I am swimming with ideas on how shows can must effectively use content to market their event and create a community.

Trade shows and conferences are in a unique position. By there very nature, they already have access to tons of valuable content. They also have resources at their disposal to constantly push out more valuable and effective content.

The themes at this year’s content marketing were strategy, good storytelling, and quality over quantity. It seems that we’re finally figuring out the right way to do content…now we must implement what we know.

On today’s #ExpoChat we’ll discuss how trade shows might better tackle content marketing and how they can be more effective at it. Both from the show organizer standpoint and the exhibitor side of things.

Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing thusly, “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

They also have a less formal definition, “Content Marketing is owning, as opposed to renting media. It’s a marketing process to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating content in order to change or enhance a consumer behavior.”

Next year’s Content Marketing World will take place September 8-11, 2015 in Cleveland. I encourage you all to attend…you won’t be disappointed and as content is the cornerstone of events…how can you not invest the time?

Q1. Brainstorm all resources show organizers have at their disposal to build their inventory of valuable relevant content?

Q2. Brainstorm different categories of content show organizers can create or curate (i.e. how to’s, member spotlights, etc.”

Q3. What platforms are you successfully using to deliver content? What have you seen shows use that delighted you?”

Q4. Andrew Davis says “Create moments of inspiration.” How can shows inspire their attendees? Exhibitors?

Q5. How can Exhibitors inspire attendees through their pre-show marketing?

Q6. What types of content can Exhibitors gather at a show to use in their content plan throughout the year?

Q7. What department should Content Creation report to in a show organization structure?

Q8. Joe Pulizzi says, all companies have great stories…just not in story form…what are some of your great stories?

Q9. What is the most important role when it comes to an organization’s content marketing strategy and implementation?

Here is a great example of how you tell a story (using humor in this case) and what you use to tell it (video in this case) to turn an otherwise very boring thing (acceptance speech in this case) into something that gets a standing ovation from the audience.
Bryan Rhoads Acceptance of the Content Marketer of the Year

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I Feel Good!

ExpoChat Topic For Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Moderator – Dana Freker Doody (@ExpoDana)

The magical numbers people say the exhibition industry is on the upswing globally.
Do you feel good?
Let’s chat about what future trends are catching our eyes, ones we think will make a positive impact on our work.

Q1 What do you feel good about when it comes to your show/exhibit program/the industry and why?
Q2 What developments do you see happening or coming soon that will positively affect your work?
Q3 If you blew your budget in the past year, what was it on and was it worth it?
Q4 Alternatively, what did you cut back on this past year and what were the consequences?
Q5 How much percentage growth will you figure into your expo-related business/show/exhibit budget?
Q6 What are you budgeting for next year that is new to your expo/exhibit?

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Lobby crashers – next wave of disruption or a necessary evil?

Archive of today’s chat is available via Storify – https://storify.com/tracibrowne/lobby-crashers-next-wave-of-disruption-or-a-neces

Welcome back to #Expochat! Traci, Dana, Michelle and I are excited to be back from our summer hiatus and look forward to today’s chat. Please make sure you complete our survey (short and to the point)

- Thanks


Stephanie Selesnick

Lobby crashers, suitcasers or outboarders – are they next wave of disruption or a necessary evil?

I read some articles this summer that got me thinking about people who crash paid events: conferences, meetings, or exhibitions. In other words, they take advantage of an industry gathering to do business and network without paying an entry fee. They grab attendees in hallways, hotel lobbies, bars, and any other place they can think of.

We could debate the ethics of this subject for days or weeks, but won’t. Instead we’ll discuss either bringing them into the fold or keeping them out – all in our 131-character format.

Please read these articles prior:




  1. Besides being cheap, why do people attend a conference or exhibition but not pay for it?
  2. Should we care about lobby crashers? Do they negatively impact the bottom line or event?
  3. Should education be free to everyone?
  4. Does free education on the show floor work?
  5. Should we have different levels and price points of education?
  6. Should we hold networking or educational events behind closed doors? Why? Why not?
  7. In spite of all of our good efforts, how can we keep lobby crashers out?
  8. How can we get the “Lobby Crashers” at our conferences and expos to buy in? (Concrete ideas)
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See You On September 3rd!

That’s right, our summer hiatus is nearing its end. On September 3rd at 3pm #ExpoChat will be back!

Please take the time to fill out this very simple one question survey. We want to know what YOU want to talk about. Please feel free to include your contact info in there if you want to talk more in detail about your requested topic. Or, please include your contact info if you choose to be vague with your suggestions…we’ll need to reach out so we understand what you are requesting.

See you in a couple weeks! In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your summer.

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More From the ExpoChat Vault

ExpoChat is on Summer Holiday but no reason you can’t still benefit from the wisdom of past chats.

Here’s one from March of last year…our “What can your data do? What are you doing with your data?

And a little something to play while you peruse the archive…it has absolutely nothing to do with data…or expos…but it’s pretty darn funny.


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From the ExpoChat Vault…

ExpoChat is on Summer Holiday but no reason you can’t still benefit from the wisdom of past chats.

Here’s one from February of last year…our “ExpoChat Advice Column Edition

And a little something to play while you peruse the archive…

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ExpoChat Is On Summer Holiday

Here we are just a couple days before the 4th of July holiday in the U.S. After that, you’ll all be doing fun summer stuff. We, your #ExpoChat hosts and moderators, would also like to do some fun summer stuff.

So, we’ll be taking off a few weeks this summer. We’ll stay in touch every Wednesday via a short e-mail just so you don’t forget about us. (If you haven’t signed up to receive our email updates please do so now…it’s right over there on the right side of this window…we only send out one email per week).

If something earth shattering happens in our industry we might schedule a Wednesday chat but most likely we’ll be seeing you again closer to the fall.

Whatever you do though, don’t remove us from your recurring weekly reminders on your calendar, because we will be back. And when we come back we’re going to have a very special announcement that we think you will all like very very much.

So stay tuned and enjoy the video below.

Traci, Stephanie and Dana

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