The scene at an exhibition booths

No matter what industry your business is in, there are trade shows that allow you to gain new customers. When you’re going to these shows it’s crucial for your company to stand out from the crowd. Part of how to do that is making sure that you’re prepared ahead of time.

1. Get a Customized Booth

What better way to stand out from a crowd than to have a customized, branded booth? There are companies that create custom booths using your own artwork. Get podiums, tables, backdrops all customized with your message the way you want it to look. Before you start designing, make sure that you know the dimensions of your space at the show.

Time Frames: 

  • Design & Submit: Leave plenty of time to avoid excess shipping fees, general rule submit the design at least 1 month before the event.

2. Generate Pre-Show Buzz

Let prospective customers know that you’ll be there! Post on social media, send out pre-show mailers giving out your booth number and what to expect when they visit you. You can even give a pre-show discount as an incentive to visit you.

Time Frames: 

  • Pre-Show Mailers: Send to print a week before you want them to be in-home.
  • Social Media: The weeks leading up to the event.

3. Design Post Cards & Mailers

Speaking of pre-show mailers, make sure to leave enough time, but not too much so as prospects have enough time to plan their calandars but not too much that they forget. Have flyers, brochures, postcards designed for at the show as well. Be sure to include your landing page URL and possibly add a QR code so they can easily access it. You aren’t going to have time to talk to everyone, so make sure that there is enough information for people to know about what you’re offering and feel compelled to contact you.

Time Frames:

  • Information Sheets at the Event: Ideally, the sooner you have these in-hand the better. But allow at least two weeks after sending them to print.

4. Create Targeted Landing Pages

When people visit your booth, make sure that you direct them to a website that is relevant to what you are talking about. If you want them to find out more about a specific product or service create a landing page specific to that. Create a page that is mobile responsive since most visitors will be viewing it from a phone or tablet at the event. Be sure to include a contact form so that you can keep track of and follow up with who is interested in your company. By sending only trade show attendees to the landing page you can get a better idea of how effective your trade show efforts were.

Time Frames: 

  • Designed: Start designing and developing of your landing page at least a month in advance
  • Launched: Launch the week of the event.

5. Make Promo Items & Giveaways

Like every other tradeshow booth, make sure that you have promotional itemsthat visitors can take with them. For those you do get a chance to talk to, make sure that they have a little reminder of your brand and your product or service after they leave. For those you didn’t get face time with, have something that they have a reminder of your business and a way to contact you.

Time Frames: 

  • It depends on what you’re making. Be sure to get in contact with your supplier to know their turnaround time for different products. Start thinking of this at least a month in advance.

Although this isn’t an exhaustive list of pre-show preparation, at least you have an idea of some of the things to prepare. Just remember that the work isn’t done after the show, there’s a lot of post-show marketing to do as well. Check back next week to see some ideas on post show marketing to use to get the most out of your trade show leads.