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Trade Show Raffle Ideas

A raffle is a great way to get attendees excited about visiting your trade show booth. The way you set your raffle up, as well as the prizes you offer, can have a huge effect on how attendees see your business. Of course, your raffle prizes could even convince attendees to become customers. Here are some suggestions that could prove helpful.

Free Food

Free food is a prize that most attendees won’t want to pass up. Trade shows are often lengthy events, and there’s a good chance that potential customers have had little time to eat during the day. Your raffle prize could be a gift basket filled with the items that your company is known for. You can also offer gift cards for free food or meals from companies that you have partnered with. The raffle can also be used to introduce a new product since you can put together a variety of new foods you’re offering and let attendees know that they will be among the first to try what you’re offering.

Discounted Items

A raffle for discounted items is also a great idea. People love to save money, and you can offer a discount even before a customer has become a long-term client. The discount should also be pretty significant in order to motivate more attendees to sign up for the drawing. For instance, half off an item or a free item with the purchase of one of your signature packages could be helpful.

Lead-Based Raffles

You can also build your raffle around the fact that attendees have to give their contact information in addition to their names in order to be considered for the raffle. When you organize this way, make sure that the prizes you’re offering are especially appealing. You can put together a swag bag filled with your top sellers, as well as promotional items like T-shirts and mugs that will intensify your brand recognition after the trade show is over. You can also make the raffle more appealing by encouraging attendees to input their contact details in a tablet that is mounted to your trade show booth instead of putting out a pen and paper. This seemingly small adjustment can instantly make the raffle more appealing.

Major Items

Finally, you can advertise at your trade show exhibit to let people know there is a huge prize on the line if they provide their contact information. The major item could be a large screen TV if you have an electronics or software company, or the raffle prize could be a shopping spree with some of the companies you partner with. These prizes are appealing to most attendees, and they may be willing to provide their contact information for a chance to win. Of course, now that you have the leads, you can use this to your advantage by tastefully contacting your leads and offering more valuable information about the services and products you have to offer and to thank attendees who have turned into regular customers.

Should You Use Tangible Marketing Materials?

Coming up with engaging and interesting marketing tactics for your next trade show can be challenging, especially if you attend trade shows often. If most of your promotional campaigns have been digital, you may want to try a different approach by giving attendees tangible marketing materials. Here are a few important things to keep in mind when putting together your trade show ideas.

Brand Recognition

One of the main reasons why tangible marketing materials are necessary is because you want people to get very familiar with your brand. You want your logo to be part of their subconscious so they will refer to you anytime they need the products and services you offer. Promotional materials that attendees can take home with them, such as mouse pads or T-shirts, help to get your message across and increase the chances that these individuals will become customers in the future because of constantly seeing your slogan and logo.


Think about how attendees will use the marketing materials you provide. If you have a software company, your trade show exhibit should reflect the fact you offer efficient solutions that will keep individual customers or small businesses organized. So, your marketing items should reflect this. You can provide USB drives or covers for electronic devices in your company’s colors to promote that you’re an expert in your field. If you provide materials that fit into the lifestyles of your potential customers, they are more likely to refer to you when it’s time to make a purchase.


Consider your budget when you’re coming up with marketing materials that are ideal for your trade show booth. If you have a health-and-wellness company, samples could be your best marketing tool. Edible promotional items could be more affordable than offering items, such as essential oils or clothing items. If it would be best for you to create an eBook or promotional materials that attendees can print online, be sure to provide an access code or method for individuals to get the necessary materials from you. This will allow you to actually put something in the hands of a potential consumer without spending too much money.


Think about the impression you want to leave with your tangible marketing materials. Do you want attendees to become more curious or intrigued by what you have to offer? Do you want your promotional items to motivate attendees to make a purchase right away? If you have consumable items that people need to purchase over and over in order for you to make a profit, your tangible marketing materials should likely come in the form of samples and promo codes that attendees can use online. If you have a product consumers won’t need to purchase often, informational marketing materials that slowly and steadily market your products are ideal.

Past and Future Trade Shows

Finally, consider the trade shows you’ve done in the past. Update some of the materials you’ve used before, particularly the ones that have been effective. When people know you for your trade show marketing materials almost as much as they know your company, you may be able to appeal to more customers.

Should You Attend Out-of-Town Trade Shows?

If you have been to a few local trade shows and have experienced success in terms of generating leads and making more sales, you may have considered going to trade shows out of town. There are a few factors to keep in mind, so discuss these with your team before deciding if out-of-town shows are best for your business.


Consider the distance you must travel. When you and your team are coming up with trade show ideas, you’ll need to figure out if it will be worth your while, as well as financially responsible, to take a trip for the purpose of a trade show. If the trip is an hour or so away, it could be worthwhile since you and your team won’t have to stay in a hotel overnight. However, if the trade show is hours away but you will encounter hundreds or thousands of attendees who could turn into customers, it may be time to put a budget together for travel so you can move your business forward because of your trade show presence.


It’s also best to think about the time it will take for you to prepare for the trade show. You’ll need time to put together an impressive trade show exhibit, and you’ll have to factor in the time it will take you to get to and from the trade show site. Training your team members to communicate well with attendees will also take time, and you’ll need to consider the fact that you may be taking time away from your customers while you’re getting ready for a trade show. Organizing your schedule to ensure you can still provide great customer service while doing all you can to make the trade show successful will help you determine if an out-of-town trade show is right for you.


In addition to travel expenses, you’ll also need to factor in all the money you’ll have to spend to make the trade show worthwhile. How will you get your trade show booth to the destination? Will you have to pay for storage for your exhibit while you’re at the trade show? Do you need to get new shirts or hats for the team members who will be at the trade show table? Will you have to hire a temporary staff to provide customer service at your brick-and-mortar location while you’re at the trade show? All these things cost money and will factor into the overall cost of attending a trade show that is out of town.


Finally, if the trade show is out of town, you’ll need to think about making some changes to your trade show exhibit. This is especially the case if you’ve been to a few local trade shows and attendees are used to seeing your décor or marketing materials. If you have the budget to update your booth, you should do so to make sure you make a great first impression when you arrive at the out-of-town marketing event.

Bringing the Right Team Members to Trade Shows

Once you agree to attend a trade show, you’ll need to get a team together to come to the event with you. Choosing the right colleagues for the trade show is important since these individuals help to make an impression on attendees that could result in more business. Here are a few traits to keep in mind as you’re selecting your trade show team.


It’s important to choose colleagues who are friendly and naturally outgoing. When you’re coming up with trade show ideas, you should make sure the team members you choose aren’t afraid to talk to attendees. These individuals will know how to make attendees more interested in what you have to offer. Team members who are socially engaging will also make a great impression on customers, and attendees are likely to remember this experience and contact your business after the trade show.


Make sure you have marketing materials at your trade show booth that will inform potential customers about your services and products in a way they can understand. Your team members should also be familiar with your company’s items so they can answer customer questions with ease. This is an impressive part of customer service and gives attendees the impression you’re an expert in your field. It may be best to choose a team member who has been with your company for a while or has attended a trade show before since he or she will likely feel more comfortable sharing product information with those who pass by your trade show booth.


Select team members who have energy and are upbeat and exciting. While you don’t have to be loud or draw too much attention to yourself, your team should make people feel warm and welcomed. Be sure to tell your team members to make eye contact with each attendee and thank him or her for visiting your booth. Positive energy can go a long way when people are ready to make purchases, and attendees will remember how you treated them when the trade show is over. When team members look bored while sitting at your trade show exhibit, it will turn potential customers off and make them think that you’re not excited about what you have to offer, even if your products are high-quality.


Finally, choose team members who have the time to man the trade show booth. Individuals who may not be able to travel for the trade show because of family obligations may not be the best choice. Contract employees who have other work-related tasks to fulfill may not be able to sit for hours at a trade show. Select colleagues who are used to a trade show schedule and who won’t be anxious or overwhelmed with spending all day at the trade show venue. It’s best to allow your team members to work in shifts, and have a supervisor to manage each “shift” so you can be sure that each attendee is getting the right impression from your business.

Tradeshow Preparation Timeline

You’ve agreed to attend an upcoming trade show. You and your team will need to start planning so you are prepared well in advance. Pacing yourself and taking care of certain tasks and varying times in the preparation process will increase the chance you’ll get to the trade show relaxed and ready to engage with attendees who could turn into customers.

About a year before the show, you should discuss your strategy. Work with your team to determine the purpose of attending the trade show and figure out how you will promote your products. This is also the time to create a budget for the show, so you’ll know how to set up your trade show exhibit.

Once the show is about nine months away, you should set clear goals. Figure out how many leads you want to generate and how many products you’d like to sell as a result. Determine your needs when it comes to trade show booth space, and contact the vendor for your exhibit to get measurements and ensure that your marketing décor will fit in the space you’ve reserved. This is also the time to develop a solid marketing plan so you’ll know how to promote your products and services once you get to the trade show.

Once the trade show is between six and nine months away, you should compose your sales messages to make sure that attendees can quickly and thoroughly understand your company. Put the finishing touches on your trade show exhibit design ideas, so you can contact graphic designers and vendors and inform them of your vision in enough time and get the display you want.

When you’re three to six months out, you can start giving away promotional items to let people know about the trade show. Stay in contact with the vendors that are in charge of designing your trade show exhibit and marketing materials. Make sure you know the delivery dates for the materials, so you can make arrangements to have everything you need in time for the trade show. Come up with a schedule and share it with your staff, so they’ll know when they are expected to supervise the booth. This is also a great time to have training sessions with your team members, so they know how to relate to attendees.

Once you’re about a month out, put together some follow-up marketing strategies to send to your leads after the show. Get in touch with your sponsors to find out any last-minute details and have another training session with your team members. If the trade show is out of town, this is the time to finalize all your travel arrangements, especially if you and your team have to stay in a hotel or you’ll be traveling to the show via plane.

About a week before the trade show, work with your team to guarantee all tasks related to the trade show are complete. Make sure your employees know how to talk to attendees, and have a clear plan in place for following up with people who are likely to become customers.