25 Trade Show Marketing Ideas and Tactics

Don’t be caught off-guard by all the factors that make up a successful trade show marketing campaign. Prepare for success by reminding yourself of the essentials and thinking outside the box for innovative ideas.

The list below is as close as you can get to a comprehensive checklist for trade show success

These 25 trade show marketing ideas, broken up in five different sections, are sure to get your creative juices pumping for your big debut. 

Some tactics you may have heard before, others you may be encountering for the first time.

Make sure you check the links for further resources, such as whitepapers, blogs, and vlogs, that address these topics in-depth to get more detailed information on these topics. 


Train your booth staff by… 

  1. Developing an elevator pitch–has to be 30 seconds or less.
  2. Practicing qualifying leads as A, B, and C leads.
  3. Practicing disengaging with non-potential clients.
  4. Planning strategic breaks for staff.
  5. Never having food or drinks out in the open.

Provide experiential elements that are memorable, such as…

  1. Conference and lounges–any kind of space that is inviting and can be used as a rest stop for over-stimulated attendees. 
  2. Augmented reality in the form of QR codes or mobile apps. 
  3. Gamification elements like “enter to win” contests or virtual prize wheel.
  4. Product demos–one of the main reasons for attending shows in the first place. 
  5. Host a Livestream event interviewing thought leaders or company CEOs.

Get on attendees pre-show agenda by…

  1. Using an email campaign to inform prospects about your attendance.
  2. Creating a press release detailing your company’s return to the show.
  3. Scheduling social media posts to build expectations for the show.
  4. Calling prospects to tell them where you’ll be at the show.
  5. Offering strategic giveaways that can only be picked up at the show if attendees have a ticket.

Design your exhibit with this in mind…

  1. Function and design–Is your exhibit both captivating to look at and easy to move around in? 
  2. Budget–Decide if you are designing a Ford or Ferrari.
  3. Consider your marketing criteria–what are your goals? What’s the competition doing? Should you show all the products? 
  4. The Demo–Focus on controlling as many presentation elements as possible.
  5. Physical elements–Find out if the venue may limit your design. For example, Height restrictions, odd configurations, utility service entrances. 

Measure ROI by…

  1. Establishing WHY you are attending the show
  2. Calculating the value of current revenue retention.
  3. Calculating the value of current revenue growth.
  4. Calculating the value of cost savings.
  5. Utilizing a proper Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to manage all the data you collect at the show. 


BONUS tactic

  1. Collaborate with an exhibit house/trade show company that offers Event Management Services (EMP). 

The Trade Group offers a wide range of solutions to your event marketing needs, including exhibit design, event management, and fabrication. If you need more than 25 trade show marketing ideas and tactics, discover what we can do for your next event, contact us here or give us a call at 972-734-8585.

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