A good trade show can bring a lot of success for your business, but anyone who’s done one before knows how difficult they can be. Even with an amazing product or service, it can be hard to get people interested. Trade show attendees have dozens of different booths all competing for their attention. Especially if you’re participating in a large-scale trade show, it can feel impossible to get noticed. After the show is over, it’s even harder to keep the people you meet interested. 

If you want to get the most out of your next trade show, you need to make sure your company is following the best marketing tips. 

1. Have goals set beforehand

Your first task before you plan anything out for your trade show should always be to create a clear set of goals. If you don’t know exactly what you’re hoping to get from attending the trade show, it’s likely you won’t be able to get much out of it. Most of the work that goes into a trade show is done ahead of time, so you shouldn’t wait until the day of to set your goals. Everyone on your team who will be attending the event should also be aware of what your goals are. Asking the organizers how many people are expected to attend and what type of media coverage will be like can also make this process easier for you and your team. 

Some of the most common goals when attending a trade show are:

  • Advancing the buying process
  • Promoting a new product
  • Building business partnerships
  • Getting media coverage

2. Create a clear message

People should be able to understand what your business is about in just a sentence or two. Keep in mind that guests will have a lot going on besides your booth, so it’s best to keep your message as clear as you can. When other attendees can’t tell exactly what you do, they might not bother to check in with you if it doesn’t seem relevant to them. If people are interested enough in your company, you can always go further into detail later. 

3. Build a landing page

To give people an easy way to get information about the tradeshow, create a landing page on your website specifically for it. Include information like what the event is for, when and where it is, and where your booth can be found. You can also share any of your social media updates regarding the event on this page so that it’s all contained in one area. One important thing to remember when you create a landing page for your trade show is to make sure that it’s mobile-friendly. 

4. Launch an email marketing campaign

An email campaign is an easy and inexpensive way to let people know that you’ll be attending the event. This also gives you a way to track how much engagement your emails are getting to gauge people’s interest in the event. Some people you should be emailing about the event are your current customers and potential customers, or other attendees if you have an email list for the tradeshow. To provide the most useful information, you should segment your emails for specific groups, rather than sending out one generic email.

5. Utilize social media

You should be using social media before, during and after the trade show. It should be well known on all your social media channels that you’ll be attending a trade show and what the event is about. Most trade shows will use a hashtag to give attendees a way to connect. By using the hashtag, you have an easy way to find others at the event and allow them to find you. Posting regular updates while the event is happening keeps those who weren’t able to attend in the loop. You can also find the connections you made at the tradeshow on LinkedIn after the event is over. After the event, you’ll also have gained new material to post on social media and to create informative blog posts about the event. 

6. Include interactive elements 

When you get people to visit your booth, you need to have something that will keep them interested. The best way to do this is by giving guests the chance to engage with interactive elements. This also gives them a better idea of what your business provides while setting yourself apart from some of the booths that might be a little dull. Demonstrations or presentations are both great ways to show a product or service. This might be difficult for some companies to do, but anyone can make touch screens a part of their booth. 

7. Bring useful promotional items 

How often are you given promotional items from another company, that you only end up throwing away? Too much money is wasted on promotional items that get tossed in the garbage a few days later. They’re an easy way to get your name out, but a lot of them are useless. Branded items can help people remember your brand long after the event is over if you use the right ones. If you want to know that your promotional items will actually be used, here are a few ideas:

  • Pens that have a stylus
  •  Snacks 
  • Phone wallets 
  • Portable chargers
  • USB drives
  • Reusable bags

8. Make marketing material simple

Again, you don’t want to give out too much and overwhelm guests. Most people at the trade show will already be carrying around dozens of pamphlets and brochures that aren’t always necessary. Instead of giving everyone a ton of information, hand out postcard sized papers that cover the basics and includes your contact information. Not every guest you meet will need a large packet of information about your company. 

9. Get noticeable signage 

For most people at the trade show, your signage for your booth will likely be the first impression they have of your brand. How you present your booth can be the defining factor of how you do in the trade show. You should make it a good representation of your brand. Signs are also something you should consider splurging on because you’ll be able to use them for various events in the future. Since you’ll also be posting about the event on social media, your booth can be used to get great pictures. 

10. Reflect on the event

Trade shows are often a learning experience. If this is your first trade show, you might have learned some things that either went bad for you or that went really well. After you’ve attended a few trade shows you’ll get the hang of what works best for you and your team. By having your team reflect on how they felt the trade show went, you’ll be better prepared for the next one.