Don’t Miss Your Chance: Maximizing Your Trade Show Success | PMI

Participating in trade shows gives a business a leg up in whatever area they are in. It allows people to become more aware of your brand, see what kind of services you offer and hopefully come back for more. 

When you are displaying at a trade show, you’ve got one shot to breakthrough. The show may last a weekend and sometimes only a day, so your business can’t miss a single opportunity to engage with potential customers. 

Eye-catching displays such as booth banners, backlit displays and floor graphics are a great start. Here are five other factors that impact your trade show success. 

1. Do pre-show marketing.

Attendees visit only about 5 percent of the exhibits on a show floor—which means you need to make people want to come to your booth before the show even starts. It should be on their list from the second the doors open.

This means your company needs to be on top of its game when it comes to promotional products. Ensure you have the help you need with printing and binding services, and use it to your full advantage.

Post flyers everywhere you can in your area or the area the trade show is in, such as cafes, coffee shops and stores. Set up a strategic direct mail, email and social campaign to create interest well in advance for your current customers, and tell them to bring a friend. 

Most importantly, use your social media. Now is the time to blast your followers with where you will be and make sure to mention if you’ll be doing any giveaways or promotions while you’re there. People love a good reward for being present! 

2. Focus on people first, logistics second. 

Logistics are critical to trade show prep, and it’s important to ask questions like, “What products will we take? What displays will we use? How will we handle transportation?” 

But invest an equal amount of time (or even more time) crafting smart, practical strategies for attracting the right people. Most importantly, make sure your logo is big and visible so people at least remember your brand. 

3. Make your booth irresistible.

You have only a few seconds to capture the attention of attendees before they walk by, so:

  • Use big, bold images, simple messaging and lots of white space to make messages stand out even from a distance.
  • Incorporate all of the senses, not just the visual ones. If you sell gourmet coffee, fill your booth space with the scent of brewing beans. If you sell fitness programs, crank up the music. A trade show booth doesn’t have to be boring and quiet, and if we have to guess, your business is nothing like that anyway! 
  • People remember what they interact with, so use product demos, touch-screen technology, video and other tools to get visitors to engage with you actively. This will attract more people too! 

4. Plan for follow-ups. 

Scan badges, let visitors sign up for sweepstakes or create an interactive game that requires them to register. Better yet, host a giveaway that requires people to throw their business card in a jar for a chance to win. 

However you do it, follow up with visitors after the show and keep the conversation going. You’ve made a tremendous investment in preparing for the show. Now get the most out of it! 

5. Let us help you with your trade show products.

Our company knows exactly how to help when it comes to marketing your company the way you want. Whether it’s promotional products, flyers or email marketing, our marketing professionals can help you create a memorable experience and bring in new customers before your booth even opens. Reach out to us today on our website.

Northern California
33200 Transit Avenue
Union City, CA 94587
P 510.931.7000

Southern California
6790 Embarcadero Lane, #100
Carlsbad, CA 92011
P 858.800.4424

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