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Choosing The Right Trade Show Promotion

tradeshow promotionsWhen meeting with clients during trade show display discovery sessions the topic of booth promotional activities or at-show promotions often comes up.  Like most things, at-show promotions are most effective when tailored to a specific client, brand, show or message.  Here are some tips that will help you when planning your at-show promotions.

Your Trade Show Promotion Should Tie In With The Rest Of Your Trade Show Messages

Before you start brainstorming your promotional ideas keep in mind that consistency in all of your trade show messaging increases attraction, retention and memorability and should help with the overall qualification of your leads and prospects.

So please consider whether or not you can create a promotion that reflects the key messages you are trying to communicate at your show. Some simple examples:

  • If you are promoting a unique product or service would  your promotion be considered by others as unique
  • Is your key message quality – would your promotions or giveaways be considered quality by others

Where To Look For Promotional Ideas

I could provide you a list of the most popular promotional products, trade show booth entertainment or competitions but these lists tend to outline fads or the standard staples of any trade show like pens or mouse pads.  Instead I would suggest that you look around and see what others are doing well, tailor it to your needs and do it even better!  Some places to look include:

Attend trade shows and other events: Attend events both in and outside your industry to see what others are doing and how they are doing it.

Social media: With the increasing popularity of social media into marketing plans there are so many organizations creating promotions to increase their likes, followers and overall exposure across various social media channels.  Take a look at these promotions and think how they could work for you in a trade show environment.

The oldies: I am talking about radio, television and print.  They have been around for a long time; there is conjecture as to whether they will survive the digital age regardless, they are still a great place to look for competition ideas for your next trade show.

Retail: The next time you go shopping keep your eyes open, particularly towards the aisles in a shopping center where companies take casual leasing space.  These “exhibitors” often have a tough audience to try to attract and have to think of unique ways to draw people in (sound familiar?)  Maybe you will find something here that would suit your organization at your next trade show.

Promote! Promote! Promote!

In my experience the most successful trade show promotions are the ones that are well thought out, reflect the overall messaging of the company in question, and are leveraged and promoted to hilt.  What do I mean?

Promote your trade show presence and promotion before your show, at your show and after your show.  Here’s some ideas:

  • Use Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media to announce your show promotion before the event, remind them of your promotion during the event and outline the results or outcome of your promotion after your event.
  • Outline and promote your trade show presence and promotion in mailers or brochures pre-show, at-show, after-show.
  • Promote your trade show presence and promotion on your website.  Don’t forget to post photos and comments after the event too!
Creating Effective Trade Show PromotionsIncrease your booth traffic with the Creating Effective Trade Show Promotions book. 
About the Author

Samantha Heyden was the Marketing Manager for Skyline Displays Australia before retiring.

3 responses to “Choosing The Right Trade Show Promotion

  1. While there are thousands of different swag items you can select from, the best idea is to pick something that is relevant to your core business. Unfortunately the life expectancy of most swag / giveaway items can be measured in hours or a few days. If you want to maximize the ROI on your swag / giveaway the best proven advice would be to personalize it. It doesn’t matter what the swag / giveaway is, once you personalize it the life expectancy increases to months or years. Hardly anyone throws away something with their name on it.

    Dale Carnegie said it best, ” Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language”

    If you want to increase traffic to your booth and provide a giveaway that will be cherished and retained long after the event is over, check out . They can personalize any giveaway on-site at your activation, trade show or corporate event with their laser engraving, embroidery stitching and direct to garment printing service.

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