Hashtags are the lifeblood of conversation around your exhibition or conference, so it’s important to choose the right one. Just like a Goldilocks social media breakfast, it shouldn’t be too long, too obscure or too tricky to spell.
But what about timely? If you want your hashtags to live on in post-show engagement and discussion, it’s best to steer clear of dates, for example #yourevent13. And by choosing a hashtag with year-round appeal and relevancy, you don’t need to coach the community on using your #2014 tag – it’s already embedded in the conversation.
Also consider how you use your brand within your hashtag – or whether you leave it out altogether. A good hashtag is often one which is absorbed into the community and used in discussions not directly related to your event, but around the show’s topics or focus area.
We’ve seen this around #Ecobuild which is being used by the community as a synonym for sustainability in the built environment, and #thinkcircular on our Resource Event. #ThinkCircular is not only arguably a more interesting and appealing hashtag compared with #ResourceEvent, but has year-round relevancy for the community – it’s really taken on a life of its own since the show team started using it.
However not using your brand within a hashtag does carry its own risks, after all there’s nothing stopping a competitor jumping on your successful hashtag bandwagon, but I would argue that if you’re the first to adopt this as your event-related hashtag (obviously don’t pick something really generic which is already in use within the community, such as #furniture) you’ll be claiming it as your own and sending a signal to the community that you’re in social for the right reasons – to foster conversation, share knowledge, and be useful – not just to talk about your brand 24/7.