Trade Show Strategy: 10 Steps to a Successful Exhibition

trade show strategy


Participating in a trade show is a major commitment–it requires considerable energy and financial investment.

How will you know if it’s worth it? Here is a list of tips from our seasoned experts to help define trade show success through a winning trade show strategy.

Mastering Your Trade Show Strategy

BEFORE the Trade Show

  1. Generate leads to pay for the event: Dig out contacts, old leads and current customers and make appointments before the event begins. This will go a long way to offset the cost of the event.
  2. Contact previous attendees: Obtaining a list of prior year show attendees and sending a pre-show mailer will increase the chance that attendees will stop by your booth by 23%.
  3. Train your staff: Your staff are the single most important part of your trade show. Make sure they know how to approach attendees, qualify leads and politely end fruitless conversations.
  4. Get in the show guide: Most tradeshows have an online and/or print show guide for attendees to see who is exhibiting. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain early interest.

DURING the Trade Show

  1. Look sharp and stay fresh: Whatever the dress code, make sure you’re well groomed and your appearance is clean and professional. Don’t sit down, slouch or leave food around your stand.
  2. Use promotional giveaways: The right promo items will massively increase brand exposure, draw people to your stand and keep working for you after the event.
  3. Design a standout stand: Make sure that your stand is visually appealing, welcoming to attendees and your messages can be easily read and understood.

AFTER the Trade Show

  1. Remember to convert your leads: Follow up on leads within 48 hours to get ahead of the competition, starting with the most valuable first.
  2. Personalize your after-show sales: Consult your notes from the event and research each lead before you contact them so that you can personalize your approach.
  3. Conduct post-show evaluation: Improve future show effectiveness by gathering and examining comments and feedback from the event as well as measuring ROI.

Following these tips will guide your exhibition experience towards success. It does take some work, but following tips like these and creating internal systems for your company to thrive will improve your results year over year.

Have questions about your exhibition strategy? Visit our homepage to learn more about our trade show exhibit design and rental services!