Tradeshow Tips

Jan 06, 2020

Stand above the crowd and gain an advantage at your next tradeshow.

As a marketing and communication firm, we recommend a mix of opportunities to meet our client’s objectives. Sure, it’s an increasingly digital world, but we always get excited about the value of the face-to-face interactions that can only be experienced at a tradeshow.

Tradeshows let you meet and qualify prospective leads. For sales reps, it’s a chance to target potential customers and explain the benefits of their product or service offerings. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), 92% of tradeshow attendees come to learn about new products and services. A tradeshow can be a game changer for your brand.

Of course, many exhibitors have a love-hate relationship with tradeshows. While there are many attendees, it isn’t always easy to attract the right ones in a sea of similar companies, competitors and distractions. Here’s the Able&Co. approach to maximizing your time and presence at your next tradeshow.

Pre-Show Marketing

Many shows offer opportunities to be a part of their pre-show emails or allow you to add a piece to attendee registration bags. Direct mail can work also, especially if you use an incentive to drive attendees to your booth.

Pre-scheduled Appointments and Events During the Show

Through social media, eblasts and other forms of customer outreach prior to the event, let prospects know your company is pre-scheduling appointments at your booth. This lets your most promising prospects speak with key members of your company before the crowds take over. It also adds a sense of urgency, as folks realize you’re in demand!

A Well-Informed Staff

Your staff will be the face of your brand and company. A pre-show meeting ensures your staff is fully up-to-speed and can clearly relay relevant information to prospects. Review the booth staffing schedule, booth etiquette and dress code.

Pick the Ideal Location

If possible, don’t let the show pick your booth location. Your goal is to meet attendees early in the show before “show fatigue” sets in. Consider the layout of the show’s floor and pick a booth near the front, the bathrooms, a café, or other high-traffic location. Avoid being stuck in the middle of an aisle with dozens of other booths unless you can arrange to be near your biggest competitor!

Sponsorships and Advertising

Sponsorship opportunities can be a good investment. Tradeshows often offer unique perks that get you in front of attendees, such as speaking engagements, additional advertising, or prominent placement. It’s an extra expense, but these tactics can help you drive more awareness and traffic.

Booth Layout

Make sure your booth is welcoming and inviting. Depending on your booth size, consider incorporating product demos, tables and seating. Design your layout to feature a reception area where your staff is available, and private places to speak with prospects. New technologies in booth construction give you plenty of options.

Booth Design

Keep graphics visually simple and eye-catching. Save details for collateral, takeaways, or private conversations. Create a branded environment that supports your messaging and gets you noticed and remembered.

Informative Handouts

You want your staff to have quality conversations with as many attendees as possible. But brochures, pamphlets, flyers and other collateral can also speak for your business. Better still, have them created digitally as well, so you can send the information directly to your prospect, collect a lead and create another touch point.

An Unforgettable Experience

It’s all about the experience. So whatever you do, make what you do unique. It might be an interactive presentation, a hands-on demonstration, or some other experience that sets you apart from the crowd.


Prizes can be an excellent lead generator. Budget for grand prizes that someone would really want to win (iPads, tickets to events and cash are always popular, but think about what people in your industry would covet). Set a time for the prize drawing to gather a crowd. Oh, and be sure to have entrants give you their contact information to enter.

Post Show – Following Up!

If you’ve done your job, you should have a healthy addition to your contacts database. Create a new list and send prospects a thank you for visiting your booth, or offer them additional information. This will filter those who were just collecting swag from those genuinely interested in your company. Make every follow-up communication as personal as possible, as people love to be remembered.

Let’s Chat

No matter your industry, chances are there is a conference or tradeshow coming soon. We’ll help you make the most out of it make become the star of the show.