In the world of focused business objectives and tight budgets, companies are always looking for free or low-cost tools to help maximize their trade show ROI and meet their event planning benchmarks. To help the event marketing professional, we’ve compiled this list of ten absolutely free and effective resources.
Books, Magazines & White Papers
Skyline’s own free archive of white papers, workbooks, magazines and eBooks contain invaluable advice on everything from booth staffing to social media marketing to help make the most of your exhibit hall location and investment.
MailChimp makes it easy to find your audience, engage with your customers, and build your brand through automated marketing tools. This is especially helpful if you’re new to email marketing and haven’t set up your own list yet. This saves time; and time is money.
Glossary of Trade Show Terms
Confused about industry terms? The Exhibit Services and Contractors Association maintains this glossary of common phrases and acronyms.
LinkedIn Trade Show Discussion Groups
Besides the benefits that a LinkedIn profile affords you in general, with the more than 200 trade show discussion groups, there is a fantastic opportunity to network with and learn from your peers. Among the highlights are the Trade Show Marketing Group, created by Scott Young to help trade show managers and exhibitors maximize the exposure and business opportunities created by events and trade shows. LinkedIn also offers several membership tiers based on your goals and objectives.
Social media calendars, email, and marketing template generators are among the many useful and 100% free tools offered by inbound marketing gurus at HubSpot. We also have some free templates available at Skyline.
Social Media Management
Visually appealing social posts tend to generate more engagement, but they can be time consuming to conceptualize and create. The free software from Pablo makes the process easier, with more than 600,000 images and two dozen fonts you can use to create social media graphics.
Time-Tracking at Trade Shows
TSheets is a free time-tracking tool that helps marketers properly budget time and increase productivity. It even has built-in mobile and GPS capabilities for tracking time when you’re tending to your exhibit. Skyline can also help you plan your trade show timeline with this spreadsheet.
Trade Show Calendars
Numerous online calendars exist to help you plan your annual exhibit schedule. From Skyline’s own Trade Show Selector Tool to various industry-specific trade associations, many websites can help you find both large and specialty events worthy of your time.
Trade Show Webinars
Hotjar, a website analytics tool can map out the traffic of your website visitors, offering insightful information about how people are, or aren’t, scrolling through your website. It can also make you aware of dead links or flaws in website design. Like most software programs, it comes with a risk-free, 30-day trial.
Have you found other free tools that you’ve found helpful? Share your discoveries with Skyline and your exhibit industry colleagues.