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Use of Twitter takes off at MRO Americas April 18, 2011

Posted by ludozone in Aerospace, Conference, International Business Development, Internet Marketing, Management, Social Media, Twitter.
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Last week, the MRO Americas conference and exhibition hosted by AviationWeek in Miami Beach was the largest in the 16 years series. Clocking in at over 8500 attendees and 950 exhibitors, it was good to see the buzz in back in this segment of the industry.

Both FlightGlobal and AviationWeek were reporting from the show by posting a constant stream of blogs, pictures, and videos on their respective show landing pages. FlightGlobal sent their aviation web celebrity team of Mary Kirby (@RunwayGirl) and Jon Ostrower (@FlightBlogger), both of whom continue to bring their unique brand of refreshing reporting to the industry. But it was AviationWeek showed notable improvement in their online presence. Largely attributed to the leadership of new President Greg Hamilton, AviationWeek was here in full force from the editorial, sales, and event sides of the business. They all seemed re-energized by the enthusiasm of web-minded talent such as Rupa Haria (@AvWeekRupa) and Alejandro Wyss (@AWyss). For example, @AvWeekEvents credited Alejandro for the idea of the innovative Twitter Electronic Boards in the lobby and exhibit halls which many thought were a great addition to the show. Beyond the conference hashtag (#MROAM), the conference also had a Four Square location and a fun tweet-up to get attendees, suppliers, and web followers connected. This resulted in the best performance by the AviationWeek online team to date with much promises for the future.

Beyond an excellent use of twitter by the two news organizations as well as veteran social media users such as @DeltaTechOps , it was good to see a number of suppliers jumping into the conversation, many for the first time.  The #MROAM conference stream registered over 600 updates in a period of three days, even briefly trending on Twitter during opening day. But it was obvious by the posts coming from the newbies that they were not really sure how to use the medium. So here are 3 pieces of advice for using twitter effectively at large tradeshows:

1)      People talking about you is better than you talking about yourself
Too many suppliers simply said something like: “For a great demo stop by booth 3145”. This is not enticing to an attendee as much as if a journalist says your demo is worth seeing (as did @AvWeekKristin), or a customer proclaims their satisfaction with your services. So rather than tweeting about your own great virtues, ask journalist and customers to tweet about you. That is 10 times more credible

2)      Don’t Shout, Converse
The proper use of Twitter is in the form of a conversation. Leave the news flash to the professionals. Instead, ask questions or engage attendees in conversations: “What did you think of this comment?”, “What swag do you like best?”, “What innovations have you noticed in the exhibit hall?”

3)      Be helpful without being overbearing
Try to think about what would interest you if you were an attendee to this conference. What would be helpful to you? But if you have nothing to say, don’t retweet other posts. Retweeting is not the equivalent of the FaceBook “Like” button. If you like what someone says, simply reply to the post with a thank you message rather than a re-tweet. This is especially important when you have far less followers that the original poster. If you feel that your audience could benefit from the original post but might not be following the conference stream, retweet it, but by removing the conference hashtag from the post. This will eliminate a lot of noise from the channel and make everyone happier.

For additional tips on how exhibitors can use Social Media at tradeshows like MRO, you can check out my review from last year’s show entitled: “Missed Opportunity for Exhibitors”.

The next big show will be Paris Air Show this summer. With both AviationWeek and FlightGlobal promises new web updates and other goodies for the show, as well as many suppliers entering the social media fray, it will surely be the strongest A&D online event to date. I can’t wait to witness it.

What would you like to see happening online at Paris Air Show?


1. Paul Saunders - April 28, 2011

Great post Ludo. I posted a full comment on the ALW Group discussion thread you started over on LinkedIn.
I recommend checking out http://lanyrd.com which is an oline social conference directory. A great tool to encourage social media engagement before, during and after trade events and conferences. I am staggered how little use the aviation industry have made of this application to date.

2. After success of first edition, AviationWeek launches new TweetUp at MRO Europe | Aerospace eBusiness - August 26, 2014

[…] promoted the use of Twitter for a long time at its MRO events (See report from April 2009 – “Use of Twitter takes off at MRO Americas”) and it is a natural evolution for them to organize TweetUps around these […]

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