Trade shows are a great opportunity to boost your client’s visibility on social media as long as you prepare for it ahead of time. I’ve spent many a day helping clients at Mobile World Congress, RSA, Cisco Live or Black Hat by tweeting from Tacoma. The extra attention around these events is a great opportunity for social – here’s how to take maximum advantage of it.

Plan ahead

In my experience, you will get the best results during a trade show by posting a combination of prewritten, prescheduled content and ad-hoc posts the day of the event. If you use Hootsuite, HubSpot or any other social media program, you can write some material ahead of time and schedule it to post during the show, most likely for early in the day in the time zone in which the event takes place. These posts should cover the basics of what your client is doing at the show including the booth number, a link to a landing page if your client has one, explain any promotions, drawings or giveaways and list and scheduled demos or presentations. If your client is giving something away at the both, take pictures of it ahead of time and use them in your posts.

If you’re targeting certain kinds of people at a large trade show, it may be worthwhile to pay to promote some of these posts and target them to reach the exact audience you want. Large conferences like RSA and Mobile World Congress have a lot of attendees, and if you sell a specialized product, then a lot of them won’t be relevant for you.

Ad-hoc posts

Also plan to spend some time each day of the event posting “pop-up” content like comments on the keynote speakers, pictures of the traffic at your booth, and anything else interesting that happens there. If you’re lucky enough to be onsite at the event, take as many photos as possible. If you’re back home, arrange beforehand for someone who will attend to take pictures and send them to you to post. “Spontaneous” posts like this almost always get more engagement. Be sure to keep an eye on anyone who tweets at you and reply promptly.

Twitter handles are your friends

Speakers, presenters, partners and booth guests are all more likely to talk to you on social if you include their Twitter handles in your posts, so look these up and include them as often as you can. If possible, write sample posts for these people ahead of time, ask them to post during the show and retweet when they do. If you have guest speakers giving talks at your booth, this is a good opportunity for both of you to work together to get more visibility. Also encourage any of your clients who are active on Twitter to post reactions, comments, and pictures from the event to give a human touch.

Lastly, make sure to take advantage of any official event hashtags or social media promotions. For example, Cisco Live 2016 offered front row seats at its keynote events to people who were most active on social media using the #CLUS during each day of the show.

With the right planning, you’ll be set to do great things with your social program this conference season. Good luck and happy tweeting!