This post is for educational purposes only.
This week I was charged with the task of monitoring a live trade show in order to get a feel for how they used various social media channels and other various forms of IMC.
The WPPI (Wedding & Portrait Photographers International) Expo took place in Las Vegas this past week and was hosted at MGM Hotel & Casino.
Facebook and Twitter were highly utilized and the blog was also frequently updated with content. The interesting thing about all these channels is that although there was a ton of content posted, people didn’t appear to have an interest in much that was posted. There were some “likes” and “retweets” here and there but there were not many posts that had an overwhelming response. Facebook by far has the most followers and this was the most popular post:
They were tons of posts leading up to the show about the different packages to the expo that you could buy, different packages allow you to have access to different parts of the expo. The main social media hubs and the blog is where keynote speakers were announced, discount tickets, and fun little tips on how to navigate the WPPI.
During the event Facebook, Twitter and the blog were constantly updated but part of me feels like it was almost too much content for all the channels. During an awards show the Facebook and Twitter were updated about every 3-5 minutes and that seemed a little excessive, on the Twitter platform it is more widely accepted but I see that they were just trying to showcase the winners. During the event social media channels were used to tell where and when various classes were and where and when keynote speakers were speaking .
Unfortunately, there are no posts to be found after the 10th on any platform. Unless I missed it, there was not even a “Great expo, can’t wait to do it next year” type post. After the bombardment of the awards ceremony posts its like the expo went quiet. Some one even asked on Facebook if they could go some place to write a review on the event and there was no reply. As a social media manager I would want to stay in tune with my audience even after the event was over in order to rope anyone who was on the fence about this year, to come next year. Stopping all social media engagement activities the second the expo is over isn’t going to get those people who were just watching this year.
The content remained pretty consistent across the channels as far as the brand goes. Same color scheme, same language, most of the same posts. There was lots of posting about Vegas, after parties, classes etc. It was all WPPI promotion all the time.
Snapchat was used in a really creative way. This was a way that booths could be advertised and I always think its fun when people are engaging. I really loved the “next person to get here and give us a high five gets this”. What a great way to get people over to your booth.
The hashtag that was the most prevalent during the expo was #wppi2016. That hashtag can be seen all over Facebook and Twitter. The Twitter account retweeted many of the tweets that @ tagged the account or used hashtags. There were tons of booths highlighted through out the week. Some of them were referenced on Snapchat and as you can see below, Twitter did a good job of representing.
As you can see there were tons of booths showcases, tons of activities, and content for days especially between Facebook, Twitter and the Blog.
You can sign up for a expo news letter through the website and Facebook page. The news letter is just another example of their IMC. The event also used Periscope to stream live events. Between, Newsletters, Blogs, Email Blasts and a heavy presence on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat I would say that the WPPI had their IMC covered.
There were a few things that stood out to me. While they posted a ton, I though that the posts were kind of boring. There was no audience engagement on most of the posts and if I am being really honest, at times it felt a little”spammy”. Instead of posting a status or tweet for every winner at an awards ceremony Facebook Live or Periscope the event. Or tweet recaps every few winners or post a link to the list of winners for the whole evening. I would also have asked more questions to engage the audience a little more and get some feedback as to how the event is going. The event seemed really well put together and I think my favorite bit of content was on the blog. I found the articles really interesting and I enjoyed reading some of the posts. I did think that as much as they posted, they would have been more active on Instagram with pictures being that it is a photography expo but the picture that I saw were amazing.