Header image of people walking around at a trade show

Marketing for Trade Shows: Tips for a More Effective Show

Trade shows are like a playground for businesses, where you can showcase your products and services to a vast audience. It's an arena filled with opportunities but also highly competitive. Just having a booth isn't enough; you've got to make it magnetic.

So how do you ensure you're the main event, the talk of the show? How do you transform casual glances into meaningful interactions? That's where this guide comes in. 

We'll dive into some tips and tricks highlighting different marketing tools for trade shows that will elevate your presence and amplify your impact, helping you to dominate your next trade show.

Collection of corporate branded stationery including pencils, letterheads, business cards etc

Start With Stationary

Think of your trade show booth as your stage and the items you give away as the encore. Visitors might forget a conversation, but a well-crafted piece of stationary or a unique freebie? 

That's a keepsake that keeps you in their mind.

So, how do you make your take-home goodies unforgettable? Here are some ideas to take your marketing handouts for trade shows to the next level:

Branded notepads: Everyone needs a place to jot down notes. Provide notepads featuring your logo, and you're instantly part of their daily routine.

Custom stickers: Stickers can serve as mini-billboards for your brand. Make them fun and relevant so people will want to stick them on laptops, notebooks, or even their car windows.

Bookmarks: If your target audience consists of avid readers or professionals who refer to manuals, custom bookmarks can be a hit. Include a catchy slogan or helpful information related to your industry.

Business cards: These serve as a double whammy. Not only do they provide your contact details, but they can also stick around on fridges or filing cabinets, making your brand consistently visible.

Desk calendars: A small, branded desk calendar will be a daily reminder of your company. Add important industry dates or tips to make it more engaging.

Personalised pens: Pens are always handy. Go further by personalising them with your brand's colours and logo.

Recipe or tip cards: If your product or service features cooking or DIY, a beautifully designed card with a recipe or helpful tips can become a valuable tool, encouraging people to hold onto it.

Don't underestimate the power of labels and packaging, either. If you're handing out samples, ensure they're packaged to amplify your brand's personality. A little creativity can make your freebies the talk of the show.

As for quality stationery, you can't go wrong with Avery. We offer a wide range of stationary, labels, and other essentials that add a professional touch to your take-home items. With Avery, you can make sure that your brand doesn't just enter homes- it sticks around.

Image 1: #hashtag, Image 2: Branded USB, Image 3: Mockup of a tradeshow booth, Image 4: Person writing an email on his phone

Make Your Booth Unmissable

Creating a booth that becomes the focal point of a trade show is no easy task. Here's a more detailed look at how to make your booth pop and stand out in the competition.

Build Interest Before the Show

In today's digital age, pre-show buzz and marketing for trade shows are just as important as the event itself. Start a social media campaign specifically for the trade show. Use unique hashtags and regularly update your followers with teaser posts, behind-the-scenes snapshots, or even mini-contests. 

It's all about piquing interest. If you're rolling out a new product, why not host a pre-show webinar discussing features or the problems it solves? This will not only establish your expertise but will also create a core audience that will seek you out during the actual event. 

Offer Something Free and Unique

Handing out freebies is a time-tested tactic, but why not take it up a notch? Schedule exclusive demos of your product and require people to sign up in advance. This adds an element of exclusivity and allows for a more focused interaction with potential customers. 

Or, you could set up a designated "photo op" corner with your branding. This encourages visitors to share photos on social media, giving your booth and brand additional exposure. And don't just give away generic freebies- consider items that tie back to what your business offers. 

If you're a tech company, branded USB drives can be a big hit. If you're in the food industry, offer small samples or coupons for a free food item. Be creative and strategic; use your freebies to showcase your brand and its products.

Design an Eye-Catching Booth

First impressions are lasting, and the design of your booth will play a massive role in how attendees perceive your brand. Use bold colours that sync with your company's branding. Incorporate high-quality banners and digital signage, viewable from a distance, to attract more eyes to your booth. 

Effective lighting can also make a world of difference; it should be bright enough to make your booth inviting but not too glaring to drive people away. Your booth layout also needs to encourage interaction. Whether touchscreen displays for product tutorials or a cosy seating area with complimentary coffee to facilitate more in-depth discussions, the goal is to make visitors want to linger.

Follow Up on Interest

Remember, the trade show isn't the end; it's just the beginning of your relationship with potential clients or partners. As people sign up or engage with you, send them an immediate thank-you email. Make it specific to your interaction to add a personal touch. 

About a week after the show, follow up with another email providing a recap of the event, attaching any videos or photos that might make the communication more engaging. Keep the buzz going by using your event-specific hashtags in post-show conversations on social media.

Paying meticulous attention to these marketing ideas for trade shows will make your booth more than just a temporary setup; it'll be the show's main event.

Image 1: Group of people talking, Image 2: Older male executive tapping on a tablet

Choose Your Best People for the Booth

Having an amazing booth and the right marketing materials is super important on the day. Still, it's all for nothing if you don't have the right people representing your brand. Here are some tips for selecting and training the perfect booth staff:

  • People person: Employees who naturally engage well with others can make visitors feel welcome and valued.
  • Knowledgeable about products/services: Choose staff who can answer detailed questions without stumbling. Their expertise will greatly improve the visitor experience.
  • Energetic: Trade shows can be long and tiring. Pick team members who can maintain high energy levels throughout the day.
  • Excited about your booth topic: Employees passionate about the product or service will communicate that enthusiasm to potential customers. That infectious energy can be a huge draw.
  • Trained in sales and customer service: Your staff should also have basic training in sales techniques and customer service. They need to know how to read body language, listen actively, and recognise buying signals.
  • Great listener: Staff who listen well can better understand the visitor's needs and offer more tailored solutions.
  • Patient and courteous: Sometimes visitors can be demanding or have complex queries. Employees who handle these situations with grace can leave a lasting positive impression.

If you're a business owner and you're planning to staff the booth yourself, here are some tips to consider:

  • Have a game plan: Before the show, identify your goals and how you plan to achieve them. Whether it's collecting email addresses or making direct sales, know your objectives.
  • Make eye contact: This simple act can make interactions feel more personal and engaged.
  • Practice your elevator pitch: You should be able to explain what your business does in 30 seconds or less.
  • Be open to feedback: Use this face-to-face time with potential customers to gather valuable feedback on your products or services.
  • Don't stay behind the booth: Step out in front and engage with visitors. Standing behind a table can create a barrier between you and potential customers.
  • Put away the phone: Avoid using your phone while at the booth. You want to be fully present and engaged with visitors. 
  • Have fun: While trade shows can be stressful, you'll want to maintain a positive attitude and have fun. This will make visitors more likely to remember your brand in a positive light.

With these tips in mind, you and your team will be ready to represent your brand and attract attention at your next trade show. Remember to be approachable, informative, and enthusiastic- the perfect trifecta for successful trade show marketing.  

Smiling woman with a fabric name badge on her sweater

Do You Need To Improve Your Trade Show Marketing?

After diving into all these tips and strategies, you might wonder where to start. If you're gearing up for a trade show, there's no better time than now to up your marketing game. 

Whether you're just starting or looking to expand your existing efforts, Avery can help your marketing for trade shows:

Mailing labels and stickers are Ideal for sending out marketing materials or product samples before and after the event.

Fabric Name Badges are the perfect way to add a personal touch to identify yourself or your colleagues.

Pricing and promotion labels and stickers are perfect for trade show-specific promotions and price points.

Silver labels and stickers will add a touch of luxury and differentiation to your brand's aesthetic.

By investing in high-quality labels and stickers, you'll not only amplify your brand message but also boost your chance of success on the day. With Avery's range of products, you're already ahead of the curve. 

Have you got more questions? Contact our helpful team by phone or email us at [email protected]

You can also browse our FAQ page for quick answers to common labelling questions.