PACMANThere are several interesting tradeshow marketing trends that are either on the horizon or already firmly in place that will continue to show strong growth in 2013. After a few rough years when the economy was flagging, this year’s consumers and business owners are cautiously optimistic and putting more money into convention marketing in hopes of riding a wave of new spending and investment. Which tradeshow marketing trends will perform best in 2013? We’ve targeted five important changes in the world of tradeshow attractions and convention marketing.

Social Media

Social media tradeshow marketing is growing astronomically, with more businesses now relying on various forms of social media than ever before. Although Facebook continues to be an overwhelming favorite with companies of all sizes, newer social media venues such as Foursquare and Twitter are also becoming powerful ways to market booth attractions. These will be used in new and innovative ways as savvy business owners and advertisers begin to micro-target specific demographics through tradeshow marketing that takes advantage of viral advertising, blogs, and podcasts.

One way social media will expand its place in the tradeshow marketing arena is through interactive activities that promote brand loyalty through incentives, and genuine dialogue between businesses and their customers. Creating complete communities around loyal followers will leverage social media sites into new platforms for convention marketing that gets noticed.

Going Green

Another trend that’s already seeing huge returns is green tradeshow marketing. These efforts will appeal to consumers who are more aware of environmental and ecological concerns. As consumer and business confidence continues to rise, businesses will cement customer loyalty by touting their own role in creating a better world through green tradeshow marketing.

Using green tradeshow attractions and offering eco-friendly gifts like solar powered pedometers or biodegradable pens will enhance a business’s image. Whether companies are looking for promotional items that are organic, green, or recycled, the response from appreciative consumers is sure to be positive. Demonstrating proper stewardship of natural resources and an awareness of the importance of green living will enhance tradeshow marketing efforts and a company’s image.

Regional Appeal

More tradeshow marketing dollars will be spent in 2013 on promotional items and convention marketing efforts that are regional in nature. Tradeshow experts have noticed that the most promising promotional products and tradeshow attractions seem to be those that use an interesting blend of universal and regional facets. Consumers are responding well to green products and culturally conscious initiatives while appreciating the distinctive touch of gifts or promotions that are powerful reminders of the region. The combination may be tricky, but a deft touch and some careful thought as to how to embrace the individual, distinctive region of each tradeshow venue can generate gold star results in tradeshow marketing


While most companies aren’t going to go out and design their own online video game, many businesses are jumping on the game playing bandwagon. Whether they offer scratch off cards as promotional giveaways or create buyer incentive programs that require some sort of game play for a bigger pay-off, more tradeshow attractions than ever will feature interactive participation in some way. Educating potential customers and holding their interest will increasingly mean that tradeshow marketing has to entertain in order to reach customers where they live. Smart convention marketing planners will make learning about their company’s products and services rewarding and fun with booth attractions that feature game play.

Conflicting Demographics

The gap is widening between the rich and the poor, the young and the old, and just about every other demographic. An increased need to meet the expectations of diverse and changing groups of consumers will challenge tradeshow marketing experts more than ever.

As non-traditional roles in the home, non-traditional ways of doing business, and an increasing disconnect between perceptions of the norm and reality grows, tradeshow marketing will need to find ways to reach a more diverse audience with marketing efforts that are highly targeted without being exclusive. The right tradeshow attractions will have to meet the needs and expectations of the many without the message becoming too vague. With new promotional products and improved tradeshow marketing methods falling into place, 2013 looks promising.

About the Author
Jon Edelman provides exciting trade show marketing ideas, including advice about prize wheels, customizable scratch-off cards, money blowing machines, and other exciting trade show attractions. With years of experience in the trenches, he is an expert on booth displays, lead generation techniques, and networking with trade show vendors. Helping to build a referral-generating system, his ideas continuously lead to a boost in sales and revenue.