Spreading the Twitter Gospel

Grace Cular Yee, director of sales for the Food Processing Suppliers Association, who oversees exhibitor sales, industry relations and sponsorships for FPSA’s Process Expo, makes a point of engaging with Twitter followers, not only by retweeting and marking their tweets as favorites, but also by replying to others’ tweets and mentioning their Twitter handles in her tweets.

Two of the topics that have resonated with the Process Expo community have been social media—“They are also trying to figure it out,” Cular Yee notes—and trade show exhibiting.

So, in a webinar to help exhibitors prepare for Process Expo, she included some Twitter tips. “I explained why they should use the Process Expo hashtag. It’s a way to reach people who are not in their network but who are at or following the show. If they’re having a drawing or a demo at their booth, they will be able to reach the right people in real time,” she says.

At the 2013 show, FPSA had large monitors to display the live Twitter feed, which encouraged people to tweet and then see it on the screen. Cular Yee invited key influencers to a TweetUp—an in-person meeting—at the event.

Although attendance at the tweet-up was not high, Cular Yee said she felt it resulted in greater support for @ProcessExpo and #ProcessExpo from those influencers. From the 2011 show to the 2013 event, @ProcessExpo’s followers increased 112 percent. It now has more than 2,200 followers.

The next Process Expo isn’t until September 2015, but Cular Yee plans to keep the name on people’s minds. “We record and keep content from each show, so I will break it up and repackage it for use throughout the off year,” she says.

She takes advantage of popular social media trends, such as Throwback Thursday (#TBT), to bring forward content from the past. She has also created a hashtag, #TradeShowTip Tuesdays, that she uses for posts on Facebook and Twitter.

Cular Yee also uses Twitter to keep herself up to date on the trade show world, crediting the informal communities that have cropped up around such hashtags at #EventProfs and #ExpoChat.

Not only does she read and learn from the posts of other experts, but Cular Yee regularly contributes to the conversations, as well.

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