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Travel Exchange

3 post-trade show networking tactics

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posted October 24, 2019
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Travel Exchange is filled with so many amazing opportunities to build new relationships, see old friends, and meet up with colleagues from the NTA family. But once the last booth is taken down, the last box is shipped home, and you’ve checked out of your hotel, how do you stay in touch and keep these relationships strong?

Meet up at the airport and carry on the conversation! That one’s easy. What else can you do?


While you’re waiting at the airport …

 

… get busy on LinkedIn

  • Dig out your business cards and connect with each person on LinkedIn. Remember to include a personalized note along with each invitation to connect.
  • As you’re connecting, check out which LinkedIn groups each person belongs to. If suitable, join the group yourself.
  • Write a LinkedIn article showcasing your efforts at the conference. Mention the benefit your partners at the event were most intrigued by: a new attraction, an update, or a feature of your company.
  • Be sure to follow the NTA page for the latest updates and remember to like, comment on, and share the posts. Then connect with others in the group who you know.
  • While you’re logged in to LinkedIn, create a video post about your convention experience. Use @ to provide a shout-out and # to gather related content together.

 

… tap into Facebook

  • Send friend requests to your list of new contacts and add them into your social networking strategy.
    Pro tip: You can also check the Travel Exchange app prior to the show and connect with all those people with whom you have appointments, as well as with NTA staff.
     
  • Post your conference experiences on your profile and in groups that are geared to our industry.
    Pro tip: Share videos, create albums, build slideshows, and tag people.
     
  • If you manage your company page, consider profiling your conference experiences to build credibility and professionalism.
     
  • Create a Facebook and Instagram Story for your connections.

The power of face-to-face video

We may live and work miles apart, but the power of a face-to-face meeting shrinks those miles. Short of showing up at the door, here are two ways to amp up the power of your next long-distance meeting.

Zoom (zoom.us)  Whether you want to meet one-to-one or one-to-many, Zoom is a free video conferencing tool that allows you to share screens and host up to three participants. The paid version provides up to 100 seats along with screen sharing. You can even record your conversation. Super easy!

Loom (loom.com)  Voicemail is good, but wouldn’t you love to ramp it up to great? To add a more personal touch, how about recording a quick video message and emailing it? Using Loom makes it easy to record the video to strengthen a budding business relationship. Then take Loom up a notch by providing a quick screen-sharing video. Your recipient can play (and save) it in email without linking to another video site.


Short, shareable videos

You can maximize the popularity of video by making and sharing your own. Use these steps:

  • Create short, shareable videos on the TREX Floor and during sessions.
  • When shooting video, use landscape for a more expansive view on Facebook. Plus, you can repurpose your video into blog posts and future marketing events.
  • Interview key suppliers, clients, and colleagues.
  • Use an external microphone in a quiet area to attain optimal audio.
  • If your clients are on SnapChat or TikTok, create video specifically for those platforms.

Frequency matters

While we don’t have all day to network, adding several posts over a week is usually manageable. Keep in mind that all of your connections won’t see every post you make.

To maximize your exposure and time, create a blog post, Facebook Note, and/or LinkedIn Article. These options give your content a more evergreen effect.

And don’t underestimate the power of email, the phone, and follow-up handshakes! While traditional marketing may not seem as sexy as social, it has the power to cement relationships.

Strong relationships are the foundation of our industry. Don’t let your hard-earned connections wilt or that stack of business cards collect dust on your desk after the convention. Keeping these bonds strong takes some effort, and it’s made easier by your social savvy.

Catherine Heeg, an international speaker and trainer, focuses on social media marketing strategies for the tourism and hospitality industry. Connect with her socially and at cmsspeaking.com.

Top photo: Normand Huberdeau