Trade shows in the United States brought in $13.2 billion revenue in 2017. Revenue in 2018 was up 1 percent. Today, almost 30 percent of companies are planning to increase their trade show marketing plans. That’s because trade shows are big business engagingly and entertainingly. Without a doubt, trade shows allow you and your company to speak to new and existing customers, giving you the leverage you need for a high ROI.

If you’re not sure how to go about planning a trade show marketing strategy, consider following our step by step guide to trade show marketing best practices and event planning.


  1. Set an Attainable Goal and Intent

    It’s essential that you set an attainable goal so that you don’t see your efforts (and money) go to waste. Setting a goal like “increase sales” is too broad. If you want to increase sales at the trade show event, why not set a goal like “make 500 sales?” That goal is something concrete and reachable because you’ll have so many people attending the event. When defining intent and goals, you need to consider if they involve:

    • The increase in sales or leads
    • Increasing awareness about your company
    • Establishing relationships with customers
    • Kicking off a new product or service
  2. Go to Appropriate Events

    It doesn’t do your company any good if you go to an electronics trade show and you’re in the appliance industry. Choosing the right trade shows to attend is vital to reach your goal. You want to cater to the right crowd, and you want to see your direct competition. Do the research and find out which events are suitable for your company. Once you’ve selected some trade shows, do further research into how well they did the previous year and their overall history. Be thorough. You’re making a substantial investment.

  3. Choose Events Around New Product Launches

    The best time to employ your trade show marketing strategy is around new product launches. Attend events that are just after the launch of new products. That way, attendees won’t get dissuaded by seeing old products.

  4. Go to the Trade Show Prepared

    First, you want to choose a great staff. Meaning, one that is communicative, organized, and professional. Then, you want to have all your materials ready – products, leaflets, business cards, and trade show giveaways. You want a booth that is entertaining and exciting so that people will flock to your company. Trade show displays that are interactive with the crowd, such as a money blowing machine, are the best choices.

  5. Follow-up After the Event

    Once you’ve made your contacts at the event, you’ll want to follow-up with a phone call or email. Handwritten notes thanking them for attending your booth are also significant gestures. Also, you can send them a LinkedIn request with a message reminding them of the event where you met. Whatever type of follow-up you choose, rest assured that it will have a positive result.

Once you’ve done the research, you should be ready to begin planning the actual event. If you should need help with your planning, please give us a call at 800-573-3111. We are happy to assist you with excellent trade show marketing ideas that will increase your company’s ROI.

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