I remember when I was younger going to my first event with my school – it was a big sports exhibition. However, the only thing that stood out about the event was a talk by Sir Steve Redgrave. I don’t really recall the name of the event or the reasoning behind the event all I knew was Steve Redgrave was present. After leaving the event I never heard about it again.

Point being there was no form of social engagement because of there was no public forum to discuss the event before and after the show.  Developments in digital marketing and two way communication channels have made this a thing of the past. The live events industry as digital media has encouraged social sharing opportunities through a click of a button alongside the ultimate live brand experience.

Word of mouth is now a ‘Like’ on Facebook

What I find fascinating though is not the transition from traditional to digital media (that is well archived across the blogosphere) but the ways companies are operating from the inside to encourage social promotion from the public. Live events now feature extended online PR campaigns which aim to create excitement for a product demonstration or show. These are delivered through popular social media tools like ‘Pinterest, Facebook & Twitter’ and can captivate a global audience.

Nothing however may be more successful than the live brand experience. Many companies are hoping to emulate the success of City and Guilds who recently used 48 iPads at an exhibition to showcase their DJ mix game. The popularity was such that the game resulted in 3,000 uploads to Facebook and a subsequent audience reach of almost 400,000. Other popular digital marketing methods include AV display technology streaming interactive services and web interfaces that allow the user to ‘Tweet’, ‘Pin’ and ‘Like’ in real-time.

event stand

Companies exhibiting at events will often entice the public to Tweet by offering incentives such as free products or giveaways in exchange for social promotion. This is certainly a win win situation when the customer has enthusiasm for live display. Research from Exhibitor in 2012 revealed the number of companies integrating social media into their exhibits had increased by over 80 per cent as companies adapt to the opportunity social media provides in the live events industry.

“55% of stands we work on for clients involve some form of digital content ranging from augmented reality to social medial link, such tools have helped capture contact details for marketing bases, draw a large crowd and amplify the impact from an event.” – Nimlok’s managing director


Technology is tied to the digital marketing strategy of exhibitors and events pivot around human interaction which is to be celebrated and shared.

Digital marketing operates through a process of promoting, sharing and arousing excitement for information which draws a larger audience for live shows. If you are looking for a return of investment on social media marketing, live events provide significant opportunities.

Author Bio – James Barnett is a former consultant for the live events industry and an experienced web marketer currently researching on behalf of Nimlok, providers of high quality custom modular exhibition stands, exhibition stand hire and portable displays.

Image courtesy of wonker