Editor's Blog

10 Things To Do to Create a Winning Trade Show

July 5, 2009
It’s not just a numbers game. Make sure you’re targeting the right audience.

The Goal:
To find a show (or shows) where you can take a dominant position.

However, you will need to confirm that the trade shows being considered have the demographics most closely matching your Target Audience. It’s not just important to know the volume of people attending the show, you need to know they attract the attendees you’re looking for.

10 Things That Can Set You Apart on the Trade Show Floor

1. Great lighting

2. Working demos and flooring installations

3. Great-looking brochures

4. People who are charismatic in the booth (friendly people who are sales oriented)

5. People who have a vested interest in getting and following-up on bona fide leads

6. People who won’t be sitting back in chairs in the booth

7. People who won’t be talking to one another instead of looking to engage the people passing by

8. Using music to attract attention

9. Using food to attract attention (popcorn from an old-fashioned popcorn maker works great if it’s allowed)

10. Offer raffles of worthwhile items that customers will want and could use to attract attention


It’s better to pick one or two key shows that have your demographic mix where you can concentrate your efforts, rather than try and to do multiple shows ineffectively.

All the “what ifs” need to be addressed so you can determine the actual ROI for this event. Typically, you need to appear at least twice to make a truer judgment about the success or lack of success.

Note: A trade show booth can be expensive, so it’s easy to try to scrimp. But it has to look really good or they, the attendees, will associate you with the booth display. There are companies that sell really good second-hand trade show booths that have been refurbished at a steep discount.

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