Getting the most from trade shows

Getting the most from trade shows

Trade shows are a staple in certain industries, and it can be tough to measure the effectiveness of your booth. How do you know that you’re getting a good return on your investments in trade shows, and what can you to do ensure that you make the most of your time on the floor?

Trade shows are cost-effective

Trade shows are highly cost effective – more so than meeting a prospect at his or her office. The latest research shows that you can reduce the cost of a sales call by 45% just by meeting your prospect at a trade show rather than conducting an in-person visit. That alone should help you see the value in participating in trade shows, but simply renting a booth won’t guarantee that you get a great return from trade shows. What else can you do to improve your results?

Prepare! There’s a lot you can do in advance of trade shows to increase traffic at your booth. Communicating with show attendees prior to the event can help prime them to visit your booth. Your pre-show strategy should include direct mail, email and social media to promote your booth, publicize special events and even set up meetings with individual attendees.

Here’s another tip: if you’ve been to a particular show more than once, review the list of previous attendees. Research shows that people who return to the same trade show repeatedly are more likely to be high-level executives. Identify these “repeat attenders” and spend some time with them!

Invest in your presentation. Having a colorful, well-lit and welcoming space is a great way to improve the traffic at your booth during trade shows. Don’t set up a table at the front edge of your booth; that keeps people out. Open up the front of your booth, provide comfortable seating and make sure your booth is well-lit. Invest in banners, flags, carpets and other attention-grabbers that draw people in.

Everyone loves freebies. Consider holding giveaways during the course of your trade shows, and have good-quality promotional products you can hand out to booth visitors. Consider adding “services” to the mix, like free Wi-Fi or device-charging stations. Device charging is a great freebie. People need to spend a few minutes at the booth while their electronics charge, and they’re not likely to leave the device unattended. While they’re waiting for the electrons to flow, engage these “captives” in a conversation!

If you’d like more information about promotional products, or successful strategies for appearances at trade shows, please contact our Creative Director, Dave Ramsell or give Dave a call at (330) 243-0651 to set up a consultation.

Photo Credit: Michael Zacharzewski, via