20 Awesome Trade Show Marketing Tips

20 Awesome Trade Show Marketing Tips to give you the edge

Trade shows can be an expensive addition to your marketing mix so making them earn their keep so they give you a return on investment is essential. Here are 20 Awesome Trade Show Marketing Tips on how you can make your exhibition stand work for your business.

Before the Exhibition…


  1. Start building a buzz on social media and engage with your audience through storytelling and teasers. Create your own hashtag for people to use.
  2. Add details to your email signature–most exhibition organisers will provide you with a banner to use. If not, simply add the details of the events including the date, time and your stand number.
  3. Invite prospects and customers to come and see you at the show and book meetings with them. Use email, direct mail, phone, sales team, social media etc. This is a great opportunity to build relationships and find out more about their business. Give them a reason to come and visit you. Is there an opportunity to run a competition, run product demo’s, a prize draw or special offer? Could you bring in an industry speaker?
  4. Get your publicity going. Use newsletters, blogs, your website, social media, networking and PR. Talk about what visitors can expect to discover or learn and if you are planning on running a prize draw or competition include that too. Most importantly don’t forget to tell them where they can find you!
  5. Be creative! Make your stand look open, inviting and exciting. If you are launching a new product can you do product demos? This is always a great way to pull a crowd.
  6. Plan your stand carefully. If you need and graphics or banners creating leave plenty of time to get the design created and the printing delivered. The same for promotional literature and gifts. Some items have a long lead time so be sure to factor this in.
  7. If you are using printed literature use QR codes or dedicated short URLs so you can track the conversions. Create a dedicated landing page with the same messages and images as the trade show and include an offer code thats exclusive to them.
  8. If you are selling from your stand make sure you have the relevant tools to do this; Price tags, point of sale boards, PDQ machine, receipts, bags, till and float etc.


While you’re at the Exhibition…


  1. Make sure your messaging is clear and place it so that it can easily be seen for each walkway and make sure you have ample lighting.
  2. Ensure your staff are happy and approachable (sitting down or chatting with the stand next door gives the impression you’re not interested). Appearance is everything so looking the part is essential; be smart, be happy and be ready. This goes for the stand as well–no half drunk cups of coffee or food lying around.
  3. Give staff ample time to get refreshments and have breaks, this will ensure the remain happy and ready!
  4. Think of some open questions you can ask your visitors to encourage them to explain their business to you in more detail, but don’t pounce on them! People buy from people so make friends first then you can sell later.
  5. Collect details of the business you have spoken to. Business cards should be collected or contact forms with all the relevant information should be completed to ensure you have everything you need to follow up. Remember to qualify your new contacts so you can focus on the most productive.
  6. Use social media to engage with people who checked in or hash tagged you or the show. Invite them to your stand but don’t forget to say why! Always remember the ‘what’s in it for me’ mantra. What will they learn?
  7. Incentivise people to talk about your stand on social media. Maybe a selfie with a new product or member of staff?


After the Exhibition…


  1. The people who visited your stand will have met a lot of other businesses that day so follow up your leads as soon as possible while the people you met still remember you.
  2. Book meetings, telecons, Skype calls etc. to keep in contact and keep your new contacts engaged. Start with your red hot prospects first and then work through to the coolest ones. Make sure you do all the ground work before you go in terms of writing emails of letters etc. so that there is minimum work when you get back.
  3. If you had a competition running at the show be sure to announce the winner the next day if possible.
  4. Connect with the people you met over social media and keep the conversation going. Share photos from the day and how good it was to meet them.
  5. Look at your followers, likes, shares etc.–have they increased? How often was your hashtag used? Has your engagement increased? etc.


We hope these 20 trade show tips help make your next trade show or exhibition more effective – keep in touch, we’d love to hear how you get on! If you’d like to find out more about the services we offer why not click here to read more…

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