Building effective trade show marketing strategy

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Posted on January 6, 2023

Trade shows provide invaluable opportunities for companies to get in front of potential customers, strengthen relationships with existing customers, generate leads and close deals. But merely attending the show is not enough; a successful trade show marketing strategy requires careful planning and execution. Here are some tips on building an effective trade show marketing strategy to help your business reach its goals. 

  1. What is the objective?
  2. Give it a timeline
  3. Make your presence felt
  4. Learn to capture your leads
  5. Create post-show follow-up activities 

What is your objective?

First and foremost, understand your primary objectives for attending a tradeshow. Do you want to increase brand awareness or promote new products or services? Is the goal to generate leads? Are there existing deals the tradeshow might help you close? These must be clearly defined to set up a plan tailored to meet the targeted people. Once these goals have been identified, the next step is to create an actionable plan that outlines how to achieve the desired goals.

It is essential to ensure that the right resources are put in place to execute the strategy effectively. This may mean hiring additional staff, investing in new materials or technology, and other investments necessary for success. It is also essential to determine how much time and energy will be devoted to trade show activities during each planning and implementation phase.

Give it a timeline

An image showing how to give trade show strategy a timeline

Once objectives have been established, create a timeline outlining tasks such as booking space, designing booth displays, gathering giveaways, and developing sales materials. This timeline should be flexible enough to accommodate unexpected changes but also consider any deadlines set by the trade show itself. After establishing a timeline for activities, the next step is creating a budget for the event. Determining the cost of participating in a tradeshow can help organizations prepare for expenses. Line items such as booth fees, travel costs associated with attending trade shows need to be know. The same as promotional materials, giveaways, food catering costs, and other miscellaneous expenses related to event attendance or participation.

Make your presence felt

Developing an engaging presence at the show is essential for success. Create eye-catching displays and informational materials that communicate the message you are trying to get across while remaining concise and easy to read. Create an engaging exhibition space that attracts attention from attendees and helps maximize ROI from participating in a tradeshow. To make booth designs stand out, you need to incorporate colors, graphics, lighting fixtures, interactive displays, or video presentations. These will help you capture attention while communicating information quickly and efficiently. Also, integrate social media platforms into the booth design so potential customers can interact more easily with the brand’s message on different platforms before entering the physical booth space. 

Additionally, ensure your branding is consistent across all platforms—from printed materials to digital media—so customers can recognize and remember your company from one point of contact to another. 

Learn to capture your leads

An image showing how to capture leads during trade shows.

Another critical factor when it comes to tradeshows is lead capture strategies. Have someone at the booth to collect information from interested prospects in exchange for something of value (e.g coupon, free product sample). Also, consider offering incentives—like raffles or contests—that require visitors to provide their contact information to enter the draw. You can follow up with those leads via email or phone to turn them into real sales opportunities. 

Create post-show follow-up activities

Finally, do not forget about post-show follow-up activities. Examples include conducting surveys and analyzing data collected during the event (like attendee numbers). This way, you can measure your results against your original objectives and continue improving future campaigns accordingly. As long as you approach each tradeshow with careful planning and detailed execution strategies in mind, they should be a valuable asset in helping your company reach its goals this year!

Last but not least is developing an effective outreach strategy for pre-show planning which includes reaching out to media outlets weeks before exhibiting at a show and developing relationships with influencers who can attend shows. It further includes using email campaigns; creating content on blogs or press releases; using direct mailers; running ads on social media platforms; utilizing SEO techniques; posting flyers; setting up public relations events before the show and hosting webinars related to products being exhibited. These tactics help draw more attention towards one’s brand before exhibiting at trade shows so more people attend their booth when they set up shop at a show. 


In conclusion, as you start off your marketing activities in the new year, having an effective trade show marketing plan is paramount to achieving desired results at trade shows across different industries. And talking about trade shows, we have a list of the ones you may wish to attend this year.

© InEvent, Inc. 2024