How can your trade show display stand out from the crowd?

September 18, 2014

There are hundreds of companies at trade shows vying for your audience's attention. They distribute branded items, talk about their products, and do everything possible to scan attendees' badges with lead retrieval scanners. Most companies use the same trade show tactics as each other, and attendees eventually forget who was who. But there are other, smarter ways to strategically approach trade shows that will make you stand out from other companies and competitors and stay on attendees' brains long after the event is over.

First step in the process is to determine: CES14-6852

  • What are your objectives
  • What % of the audience attending the event is in your target market
  • What type of things appeal to your target market based on their demographics
  • Who else is exhibiting - compare your website to the website of the show you are attending – comparing demographics.

Next you can put together a list of ways to promote your company - BEFORE the event: 

  • Post your schedule on your website and have a sign up for appointments
  • Send an email blast to attendees
  • Put you booth number on everything you have with the show sponsor logo
  • Create a separate landing page about this event
  • Put a sticker on all communication (invoices) going out to people with the booth number and show
  • Have sales people set up meetings in advance
  • Post on all social media sites
  • Press release on any new products/solutions being presented at the show
  • Wine and Dine CLIENTS during off show hours – set up appointments
  • Create a direct mail piece - anything from a letter, postcard, to an expensive piece
  • Telephone - it still works.  Have your sales people call your list
  • Order a give away and start promoting it
  • Offer some discounts for sales at the show
  • Submit a print ads in trade magazines 
  • Send a postcard – with a free offer if they come to your booth
  • Add a link to your site on the show site  
  • Direct mail pieces
  • Send out ½ the prize – other half gets picked up at the booth

And at the same time (consistency is key) determine what you are doing AT the event:

  • Drawings/Giveaways/Contests
  • Demonstrations/Education
  • Candy – Food handout
  • Speak on the show agenda – submit call to paper
  • Give away something useful
  • Add interactivity – entertaining
  • Bring products and get clients to hold them
  • Big grand prize
  • Ad in showbook
  • Door drops to attendees
  • Sponsorships
  • Free samples
  • Gifts
  • More substantial food/drinks
  • Get celebrities at your event
  • Massage

Bottom line – you need to PLAN AHEAD for your event and what you will be doing and then track your leads and follow through.  Maybe there is not anything unique about your products but you can certainly be at the right place at the right time and really STAND ABOVE your competition and close that new opportunity!!  

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