Get FREE Trade Show Marketing Tips in Your Inbox! Click Here

How Do You Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition for Trade Shows?

I’m often asked about the best way to determine your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for a trade show booth. Simply put, how do you quickly grab someone’s attention and show them how you’re different than the other guy?


Wikipedia has quite the in-depth definition. But I prefer to summarize it in layman’s terms:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • How can you help someone (better than everyone else)?

Write down the answers to these 3 questions and you’ve now started to determine your unique selling proposition.

To successfully convey your USP at a trade show, you’ll need to focus on a few steps:

  1. Design your trade show graphics to answer the 3 questions listed above.
  2. Create a pre-show marketing campaign to pique interest and give prospects a reason to stop by and hear about your USP (a drip-marketing campaign before the show).
  3. Train booth staffers to ask the right questions and provide information that conveys your USP.
  4. Tie together at-show and post-show campaigns to expand upon your USP message.
  5. Give booth staffers a “go or no-go” option when engaging with prospects — Is this someone we want to meet with soon? If so, scan the badge and agree upon a next step (such as a phone call next Monday to schedule a meeting). If not, should we scan the badge and add to our B or C lead list (they might need more nurturing).

So, determining your USP for a trade show doesn’t have to be a scary and arduous task. With time, focus, and input from your team, you can easily develop a strong USP!

new book-social media

Get your hands on the Using Promotions & Social Media to Get More Trade Show Visitors white paper to help with your trade show promotions. Equip your team with the knowledge and tactics you need to have a better trade show experience. Click here for your free copy.

About the Author

Michael Flavin is a trade show strategist & exhibit consultant at Skyline Exhibits & Graphics Mid-America in St. Louis, MO. He works with companies & organizations to eliminate headaches from their trade show, event marketing & recruiting programs. Overall, he offers total, turn-key solutions, focused on creating memorable experiences, lowering operating expenses and increasing ROI. In addition, Michael consults & trains booth staffers and helps companies measure results from their trade show programs. He also helps exhibit marketers design St. Louis trade show displays.

4 responses to “How Do You Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition for Trade Shows?

  1. In the traditional sales process there is a buyer and there is a seller. However, as I write this, the world is witnessing the dissolution of this traditional sales role, as connection economy and recommendation commerce advances and “storefronts become wherever you happen to be, doing whatever you are doing… Which brings us to the Storeless Store and Saleless Sale.” Now, if you are attending trade shows, you are in a position that is of advantage to you – the seller. All you have to focus now is to come up with a unique sell proposition as Michael writes about in this article. Compliment your USP with the uniqueness of your space and you have it made. To get more ideas as to how you might want to expand your brand memorability, you might want to visit:

  2. Sarmistha, you are getting closer to the real issue of the trade show. It is no longer a transactional environment but a marketplace of ideas. As for the USP I have these comments..

    It’s not what you do that counts – but how you HELP THEM DO WHAT THEY DO. If your product or service improves efficiency – you help them be more profitable. If you offer a more quality product, you help them elevate THEIR brand or improve THEIR services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stay Up To Date