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10 Top Tips For Trade Show Promotions

10 Top Tips For Tradeshow PromotionsTrade show promotions drive more traffic to your booth.  Yet, there are nearly an infinite number of promos and giveaways, and almost as many ideas about how to do promotions better, too.  So what should you do first?

These 10 tips are the hidden gems, secrets, and guideposts that I’ve uncovered in the 20-plus years I’ve been doing, reading, and researching trade show promotions.  Follow these best practices to ensure your trade show booth is a hub of meaningful activity:

  1. Invent a great product demo to do in your booth, to pull in attendees, get them involved, and start valuable conversations.
  2. Giveaways are worthwhile because they get more people to enter your trade show exhibit and help you be remembered after the show, but can attract the wrong people if their appeal is too broad and beyond your target market.
  3. Set client and top prospect meetings in advance if at all possible, by offering them something of value such as a gift, access to decision makers, or exclusive information.
  4. Promotions are great conversation starters — but your booth staffers have to keep the conversation going, rather than let the prospect walk off.
  5. Discounts and show specials help you close the deal when you get rare face-to-face time with hard-to-reach prospects.
  6. It’s a guy thing: Choose giveaways and promotions that appeal to the demographics of your target audience.
  7. Assertive, friendly, and persistent crowd gatherers are worth their weight in gold-dipped foam stress balls.
  8. Before the show, reach out to attendees at minimum with email that offers something of value, potentially with direct mail, and for top prospects, by personal telephone calls.
  9. Put more effort into social media for trade show promotions — but only when you are already maximizing traditional pre-show and at-show promotions.  Your social media efforts should be proportionate to the social-media adaption rate of your target audience.
  10. Giveaways that tie into your marketing message are much more memorable after the show.

I hope you get more attendees into your booth eager to engage with your booth staffers thanks to these ideas.  What is your own top tip for trade show promotions?  Please share it with us in the comments box below.

This article is one of a series on Top 10 Tips for various key trade show topics:

>Top 10 Tips For Trade Show Booth Staffing

>Top 10 Tips For Trade Show Lead Management

> Top 10 Tips For Trade Show Exhibit Design

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About the Author

Mike Thimmesch was Skyline Exhibits' Director of Customer Engagement, for over 25 years. He is now retired and spends his time freelancing, traveling, and enjoying time with his family.

4 responses to “10 Top Tips For Trade Show Promotions

  1. Totally agree about choosing a giveaway that a) appeals to your target audience, b) fits with your message, and c) will actually be kept and used after the show. The LAST thing you want is for your marketing budget to end up in the tradeshow trash can.

  2. Great ideas! But you left out the “live interactive presenter.” A professional narrator or a corporate magician can deliver your message and attract large crowds around your booth. This will not only boost your lead count, but elevate your presence on the trade show floor.
    9 times out of 10, if you see a crowd of people focused on a trade show booth activity, it’s because there’s a live presenter in the booth. See the video on my site as an example.

  3. I totally agree with your advice. Selecting the wrong promotional product can do more harm than good. That’s why you should always turn to the experts, and share as much about the demographics of the attendees as possible.

  4. Thank you for the great article Mike!
    There are many things you can (and should!) do prior to an event to promote it.
    My favorite one is updating your signature – definitely the cheapest yet most efficient way to reach many people.

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