Trade Show Exhibit Success

Use Press Relations Effectively: public relations are one of the most cost-effective and successful methods for generating large volumes of direct inquiries and sales. Before the trade show:

  • ask show management for a comprehensive media list and find out which publications are planning a special trade show edition
  • send out newsworthy press releases focusing on what’s new about your product/service
  • compile press kits for the press office including information about industry trends, statistics, or production information with good product photos and key company contacts
  • have staff members at the booth who are specifically assigned to interact with the media

Differentiate Your Products/Services: Too many exhibitors are happy to use the me-too marketing approach. With shows that attract hundreds of exhibitors, there are very few that seem to stand out from the crowd. Your exhibit should leave a strong impression of what makes you different and why visitors should be from you.

Use the Trade Show Booth as a Tool: On the show floor your exhibit makes a strong statement about who your company is, what you do, and how you do it.

Make your trade show booth a welcoming space. Have a focal point and a strong key message that communicates a significant benefit to your prospect. Opt for large graphics rather than reams of copy. Create an experience that allows visitors use as many of their senses as possible.

People Are Your Marketing Team: Trade show exhibit staff training is essential for a unified and professional image. Make sure that they sell instead of tell and know how to close the interaction with a commitment to follow-up. Staff not scheduled should stay away from the booth until their shift. Assign specific tasks for company executives working the show.

Follow-Up Promptly: The key to your trade show success is wrapped up in the lead-management process. The best time to plan for follow-up is before the show. It is to your advantage to develop an organized, systematic approach to follow-up. Establish a lead handling system, set time lines for follow-up, use a computerized database for tracking, make sales representatives accountable for leads given to them, and then measure your results.

Trade shows require a lot of work and effort to be successful. In the end, your trade show success is dependent on how much effort you put into it.

Written by Susan A. Friedmann,CSP, The Tradeshow Coach, Lake Placid, NY, author: “Meeting & Event Planning for Dummies,” working with companies to improve their meeting and event success through coaching, consulting and training