5 Ways to Effectively Promote Your Booth Before a Trade Show

October 16, 2018

Ben Hindman

Ben Hindman is co-founder and CEO of Splash, the fastest-growing end-to-end event marketing technology used by more than half of the Fortune 500. Prior to starting Splash, Ben was the Director of Events at Thrillist, where he produced large-scale events from concerts to mystery fly-aways. He is also a co-founder of the Summit Series, the renowned invite-only destination event for the greatest minds in tech.

One of the most important factors for success at a trade show is making sure you reach the right people in the room. Statistics show that upwards of  80 percent of trade show attendees have buying power– but not everyone will be in the market for your particular product or service. So, how do you make sure you’re attracting the right visitors to your booth?

There’s a lot you can do before a trade show to help ensure the buyers you want show up, but one of the best tactics is to target them in your pre-show marketing efforts. Here are five steps to help you get started:


  1. Segment your guest lists. Audience segmentation is essential to properly targeting your trade show promotions. Guest lists are like gardens and thus, require a lot of love and attention. So a well-tended list is the first thing you need to effectively promote your trade show booth pre-event. Tracking who attended your booth at past industry conferences and events, their job titles, geographic areas, interests, behaviors and relationship to your business will help you keep your list up-to-date and organized. This will also enable you to more effectively personalize your booth experience for your guests onsite.


  1. Provide clear value propositions. Now that you’ve optimized your guest lists, make sure to develop a clear value proposition before beginning promotion. What do guests get by visiting your booth? Have you created a “can’t miss” booth experience? Be concise in your messaging and explain in the simplest terms possible what benefit targets will get from stopping by your booth. You should be able to plainly convey your value proposition through all of your booth collateral and communications before and during the show


  1. Create excitement around “early-bird” giveaways. After segmenting your lists and developing a solid value proposition, emailing your target list “early-bird” giveaway announcements is a key next step. Riffing on early-bird ticket pricing and announcing special giveaways for those who visit first will make people more eager to visit your booth, as well as create a lot of traffic and buzz early on in the trade show. 


  1. Leverage Twitter to drive engagement. Monitoring the trade show’s hashtag pre-show is a great way to connect with attendees and gain insight into their interests and behaviors. Participating in the Twitter conversation around the event can help boost your brand in the eyes of attendees well before the event begins and make it easier to reach out to them individually. When tweeting, don’t forget to share important information such as date, location and booth number. To maximize your Twitter reach, equip your social team with tracking links and approved language to use, and you can also surface tweets that are relevant for and speak to your audience and then drop your booth information in the retweet. 


  1. Integrate promotion into all of your marketing channels. Last but not least, be sure to highlight your participation in the trade show in all of your external communications and digital content. This includes things like e-mail signatures, upcoming blog posts, homepage banner, messaging in Chat, a link in your sitemap, newsletter and Twitter banner. That way, your trade show promotions will be visible any time you communicate with your audience before the big day. 


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