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Promotion Ideas for your Trade Show Success

Written by Amy Chan


Posted on December 10 2014

Showing up to a trade show is half the battle.  But the other half is making sure people even know you exist.  There’s always going to be walk-in traffic and you will generate some sales and leads based on that, but even better for you and your business is if a trade show attendee is not only actively seeking you out, but has your company on its list of booths to be sure to hit up.  Remember, for all the pre-show preparing you’re doing, the show’s attendees are doing just as much since their time is limited too.  You want to be on the short list of companies they want to see.

So it’s important for you to get the word out that you’ll be there, about what you do, and about where you are at the show, if you can.  There are many ways to promote your business before a trade show, and some are extremely obvious.  But what’s more interesting to consider is how to market your business ahead of time in ways that you may not have thought about, or even knew existed conceptually.

First of all, make sure your various pre-show promotional campaigns are branded with the same logo and color scheme.  Not only is that proper promotional strategy no matter what, but if they see your logo in the brochure and then glimpse it elsewhere, it helps make bigger the view of the company in the eyes of the many.  You also want to make sure that your campaign is unique to the trade show, so in case a customer has seen your name elsewhere, they’ll know that this is going to be a special occasion.  You want them to think you have something up your sleeve (and it’s even better if you indeed do!). 

Take some time ahead of the show to find out what local media outlets are the best to use.  There may be some promotional opportunities at the venue itself in the weeks preceding the event, or in a variety of newspapers or newsletters.  Some smaller newspapers which of course have smaller readership may have extremely affordable advertising rates.  If you can get in a smaller paper with a better target audience, you are maximizing the relevant eyes that are seeing your promotion.

For bigger conventions and for bigger budgets, you can consider taking out a billboard along a major road in the city of the convention.  Getting your name in front of those eyes on a daily basis will build brand awareness and excitement.

You’ll also want to absolutely come up with a stuffer that you include with all your mailings no matter what at least three months out.  Don’t be too stingy with the stuffers – even if you’re sending it to a client far away from the show, that name brand building could come in hand in months or years in the future.  You also don’t know what friends those people have, who might tip someone else on to you if they know they’re going to the show. 

Another strategy is to produce press releases that hit the local media.  You may get some free publicity out of that, since press releases are just an email these days.