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The First Question To Ask When Exhibiting At Trade Shows

The First Question To Ask When Exhibiting At TradeshowsWhat’s the first question to ask when you are exhibiting at trade shows?  That’s a good question.

There are many important questions you and your team can ask when preparing for your trade show program:

  • Which shows should we exhibit at?
  • How big a booth space do we take?
  • What color should we put on our trade show exhibit graphics?
  • Should we invite attendees with an email, a direct mail piece, or both?
  • What giveaways should we buy?
  • What clothes should our staffers wear?
  • Where in the show hall is the best place to put our exhibit?
  • Who should staff the trade show booth?
  • Who will manage our leads after the show?
  • What should we say to attendees in the aisle?
  • What demo can we do to get people’s attention?
  • What products should we feature in our exhibit?
  • What kind of tradeshow displays will work best for us?
  • What activities should we do in our booth?
  • Is it worth hiring a trade show presenter?
  • How will we measure our success?

These are all good questions, and the answers are often critical to your trade show success.  But all these questions go on hold until you answer the first question:  “What is our main goal for exhibiting?” Once you answer that essential question, the answers to all the other questions fall into place.

The three most common goals exhibitors seek are to boost awareness, generate leads, and meet with existing clients and key prospects.  Each of these three key goals will dictate different answers to all the other questions.

For example, who should staff the trade show booth?  If you want to generate leads, you will choose staffers who will quickly engage, qualify, present and close to many attendees.  But if you are meeting with existing clients, you may want your company VIPs or key account sales people who already have relationships with key buyers.

So next time you or someone else in your team asks a question about your trade show marketing, be sure you’ve got the first question buttoned up already.  It will make all the subsequent answers that much easier.

What's Working In Exhibiting White PaperThese questions are just the beginning of things you can ask yourself to identify your trade show marketing goals.  To find out even more ways to prepare yourself, pick up the What’s Working In Exhibiting guidebook.  This white paper will give you the best tips and strategies to answer all your questions and more.  Click here to receive your free copy. 

Mike Thimmesch
About the Author

Mike Thimmesch is the Principal at Thimmesch Marketing. For over 25 years, he has created and implemented innovative marketing, lead generation, and exhibiting strategies that profitably grow company sales and brand awareness. Mike rose to Director level at Skyline Exhibits, where he helped generate over a half million leads, resulting in over $1 billion in sales. He published 11 industry white papers and eight exhibiting books, presented over 100 trade show webinars, and wrote over 200 exhibit marketing blog posts.

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