Trade Show Marketing Strategies
Proven Methods that Deliver Results

Successful exhibitors maximize outcomes with proven trade show marketing strategies that start even before the exhibition halls open. Savvy business owners and marketers embrace the opportunity to reach their target market by attending trade shows relevant to their market sector, and therefore exert every effort into showcasing their product lines.

Studies reveal that 75% of the people who go to trade shows know exactly what they want to see, whom they want to see, and how much time they will spend on the exhibition hall floor.

Even with the ease of social media and mobile outreach for networking, trade shows continue to be among the most powerful, results-driven marketing tools for reaching potential buyers. This holds true for companies of all sizes.

Leveling the Playing Field

trade show marketing strategies

The greatest advantage of a trade show is enabling the smaller players to compete with their bigger and more experienced counterparts.

With the right products and a well-defined strategy, small companies can connect with significant numbers of buyers directly and easily. This enables them to further their products reach instantly and secure sales.

The key to succeeding by exhibiting in a trade show is to treat event participation as an integrated marketing campaign.

Strategies that Work

 Seasoned exhibitors know all too well that a trade show marketing officially begins long before the doors open on the first day.

They start identifying and inviting prospective customers to visit them in the show floor, and connect with them face to face. Here are some of the top strategies first-time exhibitors can apply in their trade show marketing:

Before the show: 

  • Send both invitations developed by the trade show organizers and your personalized material. Profitable exhibitors understand the effectiveness of personalization in their message.

  • Promote your attendance at the trade show through advertising placements on trade magazines, e-mails, direct mailers, telephone calls and of course, your website and existing marketing channels.

  • Use social media to generate interest. You can tweet your show details to thousands of your followers via Twitter, send updates to groups of friends on Facebook, and utilize other social networking platforms to build hype.

During the show: 

  • Use exhibit hall announcements to inform prospective buyers of the ongoing activities in your booth. You have to let them know that coming to your booth is well worth their time and visit.

  • Hold a raffle or give away prizes for buyers attending your booth. Engage visitors with fun activities.

  • Give your buyers something to remember you by. Whether you give them a ballpoint pen, a notepad, an order book or some promotional material - they should leave with something that has your contact details on.

After the show

  • Follow up. This is one of the most important trade show marketing strategies; yet, it is often not executed in a timely fashion – or at all by some exhibitors. Once you have gathered your show leads and identified your "hot" prospects, follow-up with them within three days by making personal calls to build relationships and solidify the sale.

    For other leads, also reach out with an email or note within three days. A "thank you" message goes a long way. Use the mail, emails and social media to update people and maintain ongoing contact.

  • You can even use a “sorry, we missed you” message to visitors that failed to make it to the show. This is an opportunity to explore other venues to advance your product such as one-on-one presentation.

Businesses can extend their reach and maximize exposure to a wider market by participating in trade shows. It is here that they display, demonstrate, educate, network and gather names to build a highly targeted customer database, and promote their products in the future.

After all, trade fairs represent a single largest market opportunity that benefits exhibitors even after the show. It is because in this market is where organizations big and small can focus on securing more business wins.

This article on effective trade show marketing strategies was written by Jon Borillo of The Wholesale Forums ( 

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Using Psychology to Attract Booth Visitors
Using Booth Entertainment to Draw Crowds
Putting Games for Trade Shows
Create Buzz with Product Demonstrations
Using Interactive Presentations to Attract Visitors
Convergence of Marketing and Trade Show Entertainment


Securing Publicity at the Show
Marketing with Media Packages
Sponsoring a Trade Show Speaker
Advantages of Using News-Style Tradeshow Video
How to Leverage Event Speaker Sponsorship
Benefits of Serving as a Volunteer Speaker


Using Twitter to Increase Booth Traffic
Tradeshow Marketing with Pinterest
Using Online Video to Promote Your Booth
Leveraging LinkedIn as an Exhibit Marketing Tool
Capturing Leads with Touch Screen Technology
Web Site Tips for Trade Show Exhibitors
Digital Marketing Integration
Virtual Trade Shows


Imperatives for Trade Show Follow-up
Using Professional Telemarketing Services
The Value of Post-Show Follow-up
How to Measure Your Success
Advice on Generating Leads and Sales
Trade Show Booth Strategies
Beat the Competition and Achieve Tradeshow Results

› Trade Show Marketing Strategies

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