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7 ways to use Instagram to your advantage at a tradeshow

If you think about it, tradeshows are visually stimulating. There are thousands of people walking about, big signs, fancy brochures, bright lights and beautiful tradeshow booths scattered throughout a very large room. Trying to differentiate your business can be a difficult task. But if you want to leverage your tradeshow marketing, you should take advantage of the most visually-stimulating social media network there is: Instagram.

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Instagram is strictly a visual-based social media network that enables you to share your photos with followers, fans and even a general audience. Using Instagram, the correct way, can help you engage with tradeshow attendees and your direct audience, which will help you and your business generate real leads. Why not use it to your advantage?!

Below you can find 7 helpful tips that will boost your tradeshow marketing with Instagram.

Tell a story with your images.

Taking a photo of your booth isn’t really telling a story. Sure, it gives people a look into what your tradeshow setup looks like, but it’s boring. Why not take a few photos of your staff? Show your followers a few behind-the-scene photos, so they can get a glimpse of who/what you really are as a company. Snap a few shots while your team is setting up or disassembling your booth. Believe it or not, people like transparency and enjoy seeing a company’s true identity.


Using hashtags may get repetitive in some cases, but it also casts a wider net for exposure. Let’s say you are attending a tradeshow in Dallas and promoting a new app, you will want to include relevant hashtags. Here are a few hashtag examples that are relevant: #Dallas, #tradeshow, #(name of convention), #ios, #android, #tech, #apps. You get the gist of it. The photos you share and the hashtags you provide will play a huge part in being found by your target Instagram audience. Take your time and organize the best hashtags you can think of. Brainstorm with your team. And here’s a tip: Write down all the hashtags as a note so that all you have to do is copy and paste the hashtags to all the photos you upload, rather than typing them all out again.


Go ahead and use the Explore option of Instagram to network with others. More likely than not, a good chunk of your target audience is already using Instagram. It doesn’t matter what they post. What matters is that you connect with them. You can find these users by searching for keywords that relate to your brand, product or service. Let’s go back to the app idea. If you created an app and are trying to promote it, you could search for “apps,” “phone apps,” “ios apps,” “tech,” etc. You’ll find people who are interested in these topics and you will have the option to follow them. Go ahead and follow them. Sometimes you can even listen in on a conversation and find out what your target customers are talking about.

Record videos

Sometimes you need a change of pace to keep things interesting. Instead of posting photos all the time, upload a video every now and again. Instagram lets you record and upload a video clip up to 15 seconds long. Within that amount of time, you can create hype with your new product. Or you could be silly and record your team having a great time. A video is always recommended as long as it’s relevant or includes your business at the tradeshow.

Name your location

Instagram has a nifty feature that not enough people take advantage of. You have the ability to identify your location on each individual photo. So you can add “Dallas Convention Center Booth 239” or whatever location tag you feel is relevant. Savvy tech users will know the deal and be more likely to check out your booth.

Stage photo opportunities

Do you have a really awesome booth? Do you want to get the tradeshow attendees more involved? Consider getting a booth that allows you to easily interact with attendees and include a section where you are able to take photos with them. This could be a very simple design, but it can help create a memorable image for your business. And it will help you engage with visitors.

Sharing photos on a digital display

If you want to really show off your social media accounts, and Instagram in particular, you can setup a few TVs, laptops or tablets at your booth. You can aggregate all of your photos and tweets to create a visually stunning display and interactive experience with the attendees.

Charles Beshears is the owner of National Trade Show Displays, a company offering products and services designed to minimize tradeshow budget constraints. Beshears is committed to providing high-quality products and even better customer service. For more information, visit

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