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3 Basic Trade Show Marketing Tips You May Not Be Using

When it comes to marketing for your upcoming trade show, it’s important to make sure you get the message to as many people as possible. Local customers may want to attend to show their support, and there’s a good chance they’ll bring friends and business associates along with them. If you’re attending a national event, you’ll also want to appeal to potential customers in the city where the trade show will take place. Here are some trade show ideas that you may not have thought of when it comes to promotion that could make a big difference in the success of your next marketing event.

Word of Mouth

This is an old-fashioned form of marketing when it comes to trade show ideas. However, if you tell as many people as possible that you’ll be attending a trade show soon, the word could travel faster than you think. When you get into a casual conversation with other business associates or even with family members, mention the trade show and tell them to tell their friends and family as well.

Your Website

Another way to make sure that you’re marketing effectively is to post all the information about your upcoming trade show on your website. Be sure to include the dates and times, as well as the location of the event, so that interested customers and potential clients are informed. If you’ve attended trade shows in the past, you may also want to include pictures of your custom exhibit booths to give customers a feel for your creativity and professionalism. This marketing method will cost you little to nothing, and you can gauge the effectiveness by the amount of website traffic you get.

Social Media

Social media is a great way to make sure that you’re marketing your business and promoting the trade show at the same time. Include all the details about the trade show on your social media pages, and encourage your followers to comment and let you know whether or not they will be attending. Social media is also a great place to post pictures of your custom exhibit booths so that followers will know what to expect to see when they get to the event. You can also livestream on your social media pages so that people who are not able to attend the trade show in person can still see what’s happening at the marketing event in real time.


Finally, don’t forget that mailers can also be an effective part of trade show planning. You can send mailers to customers who are already accustomed to getting marketing materials from you to let them know that you’ll be attending a trade show in their area soon. Or, you can send the message to people who will likely be interested in what you have to offer. In your mailer or newsletter, you can also offer incentives for those who come to your booth. These are simple and somewhat conventional methods, but they can create a bigger turnout for the trade show and help you to build your client base.

6 Ways to Properly Use Incentives at Your Next Exhibition

Incentives are an effective way to make attendees more interested in your products and services after you’ve gotten the potential customers to come to your booth and see what you have to offer. If you’re not sure which incentives to offer potential customers, here are a few ideas to increase the chances that attendees will remember you after the trade show is over.


Free items are always a great incentive for increasing brand recognition, so it’s up to you to choose products that won’t break your budget but will still have an impact. You can select small items that will ensure that your logo is always in the back of a customer’s mind, such as mouse pads or key chains. Or, you can choose gifts such as mugs or t-shirts to give to attendees who sign up for your services at the trade show or agree to be part of your contact list. These small gestures could increase the chances that these customers will tell others about what you have to offer, which will increase your client base.


When customers can’t get free items after visiting your custom trade show exhibits, you can offer them discounted services so they are saving money the first time they do business with you. Of course, it’s also a good idea to offer discounts to loyal customers on a regular basis as well.

Edible Items

When attendees have been on their feet all day and may not have had a chance to eat, you can offer edible items as part of your trade show planning to ensure that you get more of a crowd. Even something as simple as a cup of coffee can motivate people to come by your booth and stay a while, which means you’ll have time to make a good impression.


Holding a raffle is another good way to offer attendees incentives when they visit your booth. Your signage should communicate that there is a raffle. Hold drawings at various times to keep people coming back.

Partnership Discounts

Provide partnership discounts as part of the trade show planning process so that you can cross promote with other businesses and show a sense of community with your marketing efforts. If you’re a new business, partnering with a more well-known company can make this tactic effective.

Social Media Incentives

Finally, you can make social media incentives part of your tradeshow planning. Offer discounts to followers who share your marketing messages on social media, or have a contest to give out free or discounted gifts to the first 10 or 15 people who comment on a post you’ve made about the trade show. You can also give followers the option of posting videos of themselves at your trade show booth, and you can even encourage customers to create a jingle or new logo for your business and provide prizes to the contest winners. All of these tactics can draw more attention to your business and ensure that more potential customers know about the benefits of your products and services.

How to Properly Use Surveys at a Trade Show

One of the best ways to make sure that you’re effective in your marketing messages at a trade show is to conduct a survey. However, there are a few suggestions that you should keep in mind when you’re giving the survey to attendees. Remember that this can be another effective promotional tool for providing a great impression of your business, so the way that you compose the survey can make a huge difference.

Keep It Short

Your survey should be as short as possible. Customers don’t want to spend a long time answering questions, especially if you’re using an app for them to complete the survey while at the trade show. Make sure that the questions are concise and easy to read, and ask questions that will help you prepare for the next marketing event. For instance, you can ask a few questions about the effectiveness of the trade show booth design and inquire about whether your team members were helpful and friendly. You should also find out whether those taking the survey would be willing to use your products or services in the future.

Stick to the Point

Make sure that your survey has a specific point. For instance, if you want to focus on the trade show exhibit design so you can see which creative features appeal to customers the most, ensure that most of the questions on the survey are about this subject. If you want to know if attendees were satisfied with the customer service at the trade show, make this the focus of the survey.

If you handed out free samples of your product and want to get a feel for the first impression that customers had, ask specific questions pertaining to this in the survey. The results you get can help you better plan for your upcoming shows and will show you which adjustments you need to make so that your marketing efforts are more successful next time.

Ask the Right Questions

Ask questions that specifically pertain to what you’re trying to glean from customers. If you only want to know about your trade show exhibit design so that you can add or take away from your design aesthetic based on what is appealing to customers, keep your questions very specific. Only ask questions that have a definite answer, or give customers an option to choose from a scale of 1-10 so you can get concrete answers that will help you improve your business in a tangible way. If you ask questions that are too open-ended, you may get a variety of opinions, and this may not be beneficial when it comes to making changes to your marketing approach.

Get Contact Information

Get contact information for each of the people who participate in the service. This will give you the list you need to send out marketing materials and ask further questions to customers once they purchase a product or service and have more time to form an opinion about your business. Include some high-resolution images of your trade show booth in further communication with the customer so you can remind them of the trade show and determine their reaction when it comes to associating your company with the trade show event.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Trade Show Booth Etiquette

One of the biggest parts of trade show planning is making sure that you’re following the right protocol for the event. There are some basic rules to keep in mind for your next trade show to ensure that you’re making the right impression on attendees.


Remember to choose team members who are naturally friendly and don’t mind engaging with people. Even if you have great trade show ideas, they may not come across as genuine or appealing if you choose employees who are knowledgeable but not social to man the trade show booth. It’s important to be hospitable and welcoming when you’re dealing with attendees so they will be more open to learning about your company and becoming long-term customers.

Turning Your Back

Your trade show booth and exhibit accents shouldn’t be facing away from the direction of the main crowd. Let your team members know that they shouldn’t sit at the trade show booth in a way that will position them with their backs toward the potential customers. When a person’s back is turned, this sends the impression that they don’t want to talk or are too busy to answer questions. This doesn’t send the right message to people who may want to become customers of your company. Make sure that your trade show planning blueprints position your booth and exhibit properly so that you appear warm and welcoming.

Color Coding

Keep in mind that color makes a difference when it comes to trade show ideas. Bright colors can be a little off-putting for attendees, so stay away from excessive neon colors. Make sure that if you’re using red or orange, these hues are in a medium shade and are paired with neutral colors that will provide a balance for your signage.

Company Reputation

Even if you’ve excelled in your trade show planning, it’s important to make sure that you choose team members who are upholding the company’s reputation. This means that all your team members look presentable and aren’t saying anything disparaging about your business. Everyone who is manning your booth should be dressed well, and if they are wearing materials that display your company logo, the logo should be easy to see. Employees who have been with the business a long time, as well as individuals who have attended trade shows or networking events before on behalf of the company.

Product Knowledge

Finally, make sure that your trade show ideas are combined with extensive product knowledge. All of your team members should have information about the advances and upgrades that have been made to your products. In addition, each of your team members who are at the trade show booth should know about any current sales or promotions. It may be necessary to go over a list of potential questions with your employees so they will be prepared for any inquiries that attendees may have.

5 questions your staff should always know the answer to

The staff members who accompany you to your exhibition should be an extension of you and your company. Therefore, they should be able to answer any questions that may come their way. The truth is attendees who are interested in your company will have questions before they decide to become part of your potential clientele. Keeping that in mind, it is important to note that while training your exhibition-design display staff members on proper trade-show behavior, they should be able to confidently answer these questions, which are the most frequently asked.

What exactly do you do?
Many attendees will ask this question in the hope of getting to know the company better. Your employees should be able to answer this question instantly. They should have a memorized summary of what the company does. However, the employee should not sound robotic when sharing this information. Instead, he or she should appear friendly and well-informed.

What makes your company or products different?
Individuals who are interested in your products or services will ask this question in several different ways. The idea is they want to know why they should choose YOU over the various other companies at the trade show. This is the time to pitch your company to the attendee. They want you to sell them your company and really make them understand why you are the better option. You want to share your goals and tell about the accolades received while involving the attendee in the next steps of your company.

How can your products benefit me?
Again, this is a pitch-selling question. When you hear this question, you want to be clear and informative on what your products can do for the attendees. The idea is to sell them on the concept that your products will make their lives better in one way or another. If you have a product demo, this is the time to show it. Letting the attendee see exactly how the product works will help give him or her a better idea of how your products will benefit him or her at home.

What is the growth of this company?
Many attendees want to know how well the company is growing and has been growing over time in order to assess in what they are investing. Although this question may not always be the very first and most frequently asked question, you should know the answer. The idea is to guide the attendees into knowing that investing in your company by becoming part of your regular customer base will be beneficial to them. Be friendly and personable when sharing what the growth of your company is so more attendees will want to be a part of your growing process.

Where do I sign up?
Once you hear this question, it means you have done an excellent job at pitching your brand and ideas. Have an easy sign-up sheet or digital forum for them to sign up. The easier it is for them to provide their information, the better.