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5 Powerful B2B tradeshow marketing tips

Tradeshow marketing is a tricky craft, and many fail to impress, particularly in the B2B arena – here’s how YOU can nail it.

tradeshow marketing

tradeshow marketing

Making the most of your next tradeshow

As a business owner or marketing expert, you understand just how important tradeshows are in the B2B world. Success is often rooted in your ability to attend the right shows and develop positive connections.

And while what you do in the days before and after a tradeshow are important, the marketing choices and decisions you make during the show are most significant.

5 Tips to Keep in Mind

Going into any tradeshow, you and your team should have a goal. While the specifics of that goal will change from company to company and event to event, the overarching goal is always to drive awareness for your brand and engage with prospects. As such, the following marketing tips always apply:

  1. Choose the Right Signage: The tricky part about a tradeshow is that you’re just one of many vendors. Depending on the event, there could be anywhere from a dozen to a hundred different booths. Often, you’re situated right next to one of your closest competitors. So, how can you possibly differentiate your booth from the pack? The key is to remember that first impressions matter. At any tradeshow, it’s the booth that’s able to attract attention and draw people in that’s afforded the most opportunities. What you do with those opportunities is another story, but your initial emphasis should be on attracting attention. Designing compelling signage is one of the best ways to accomplish this. Here are some inspiring ideas.
  2. Dress the Part: In addition to making the booth aesthetically appealing, you need to look in the mirror and think about your image. At a tradeshow, you are your brand personified. This means you need to look professional, neat, and personable. Wearing a name badge will encourage prospects to identify you with your brand’s logo and helps spark conversation. It’s also a good idea to wear clothing that has you brand’s emblem embroidered on it. The more you can do, the better the chance that you’ll be associated with the brand in the future.
  3. Have the Right Materials on Hand: The average tradeshow participant is going to interact with 10-plus different booths and brands. By the end of the day, they’re only going to remember a couple of the most memorable ones. In order to stay at the forefront of their minds, you need to offer something tangible to take away. Brochures and business cards are a good start, but get creative with the marketing materials you use. Little branded giveaways and trinkets have a more lasting impact.
  4. Choose the Best Booth Position: While it may cost more to get a certain position on the tradeshow floor, the upfront expense is often nothing compared to the lasting value a prominent location provides. For example, let’s say it costs $500 more to secure a spot next to the coffee shop. While that may seem like a hefty price tag, would $500 be money well spent if you were able to earn five additional leads? At $100 per lead, most would agree that’s a cost-effective decision.
  5. Offer Incentives to Visit: Unfortunately, most people aren’t pining away to visit your booth. They need to be enticed. If you want to attract these fringe prospects, incentivize them to stop by. Popular strategies include giveaways, raffles, free quotes, and discount codes.
  6. Maximize Your Tradeshow Time: While tradeshows can drag on when you’re in the moment, the reality is that every minute of time you have at these events is precious. Instead of counting down the minutes until it’s time to pack up and leave, focus on your marketing efforts. You’ll be amazed by what can happen when you’re completely engaged.


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Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. When he's not consulting, glued to a headset, he's working on one of his many business projects. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Peggy

    December 22, 2015 at 7:50 am

    We once shot a video for a local company who provided desserts for high end restaurants locally. He had just built a large facility to enable him to produce enough products to expand into a regional or even national market. The video-which required no audio (music was added)-highlighted his process and capacity. He played it on a loop behind his booth at the trade show and it was a huge success. He continues to use it on his website now even after several years as a marketing tool. It was a great investment for him.

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