At most trade shows, there is a massive number of competing businesses, all vying for attendees' attention. You need to separate yourself, and innovate your trade show advertising in order to attract more visitors, and turn them into leads before they move on to the next booth.
So, how do you capture people's attention at a trade show and increase the number of visitors to your booth?
Our complete trade show checklist will teach you how to attract engaged customers, capture more high-quality leads, and boost revenue.
Be sure to read this through before your next trade show and implement some of these tactics!
Watch Our Article on the 12 Trade Show Tips to Attract More Visitors
1. Attend as many shows as possible!
Increasing the number of shows you attend is one of the best trade show tips to boost revenue. You need to get in front of potential customers as often as you can to expand your professional network.
Doing this will attract more attendees, raise brand exposure, and encourage more face-to-face dialogues. When planning for a trade show, use a calendar like this one to track dates, locations, and staff.
2. Ask for a specific display location at the Trade Show
When booking a trade show spot, ask for a specific location. Monitor the trade show deadlines for claiming a space to ensure you score a prime location. The majority of the time when you ask for a specific location, you are typically granted a spot on the Island or Peninsula of the map.
Try to select a location that receives high traffic but without congestion, such as a few yards from the entrance. Intersections are also effective because they expose your booth to multiple traffic flows.
3. Accept debit and credit cards for Purchases
Keep in mind not everyone at the trade show will have cash on them. Businesses see a 20% increase in sales when they offer customers the choice to pay with debit or credit cards. Trade shows are no exception.
When setting up a trade show booth, establish a POS system for card payments. Offer customers the option to pay with cash, credit, or debit for quick and efficient payments. This will capture more sales at your booth and increase your data security.
4. Enhance your display with Custom Banners, Tents, and Flags
Your trade show booth must stand out from the competition to attract more potential customers. Custom trade show banners, tents, and flags are crucial elements to boost your brand’s exposure and success on the day. Invest in a Custom Pop-Up Tent and Banner Stand that matches your brand and style. This will make sure your booth and signs are representative of your business and help you leave a good first impression on customers.
5. Schedule electrical work before the event
When planning for a trade show, there are lots of components to organize. One thing that you should not overlook is any electrical work needed when setting up a trade show booth. Arrange the electricity, internet, and signs of your booth the day before the event starts. Many shows will not spell this out for you, but you can still do this.
6. Test your equipment before the show!
A key step in any successful trade show checklist is to test all equipment before you ship it to the location. This includes AV equipment, event tech, and any other activations. Ensure the following in the days leading up to your event:
- Test equipment will work together.
- Include mounts for monitors and screens if you need them.
- Make sure cords are long enough.
You don’t want to have any issues on the day, especially not when making a presentation to a potential client!
7. Bring printed approvals with you
Remember, preparation is the key trade show tip for success. The last thing you want is any miscommunication about where your trade show display is located, or whether your business has been included in the show at all!
Bring any email confirmations or printed approval documents you receive from the show with you to the show floor. Get the cellphone numbers of the people that are provided the authorization. Verify the show hall can accommodate what the show has authorized.
8. Sound the Alarm Before the Show!
Incorporate pre-show mailers, emails, and phone calls into your trade show marketing strategy. 80% of exhibitors do not use pre-show promotions, but it can increase your qualified booth traffic by 33%.
Invite attendees to let them know of your attendance. Reach out to your current customers and any past contact from trade shows. Tell them that they can book to see you and set appointments.
9. Ship Display Materials in Advance
Consider the shipping time frame of your display exhibit. A good trade show tip is to ship any display materials in advance to the show location. This is very important if you have a complex display exhibit, such as a Large Space Booth. If you do have a large trade show booth, it is a good idea to get it prepared a month before the show.
If you have a short time window to install the exhibit on the day, shipping your display in advance is a smart move. That way, you and your team can become familiar with setting up the trade show booth efficiently before it’s show-time.
10. Cut Costs by Shipping Items Together
10-30% of your trade show budget is usually spent on shipping and transportation. An excellent trade show tip is to consolidate as many materials as possible. Avoid shipping any unnecessary items to the show and focus on only those that convey your brand message. If you must send your things in multiple boxes, shipping pallets and a shared carrier are great ways to save money on handling costs.
The benefits of doing this include:
- Cuts costs
- Less likely to be lost
- Less likely to be damaged
11. Use quality shipping cases for valuable items
Quality shipping cases are a must-have in any trade show checklist. Shipping valuables in a cardboard box is asking for trouble and broken goods! If you have a large flat-screen monitor in your booth, try shipping it in an AV case. For your exhibit displays, use a Trade Show Shipping case to prevent damage and fraying. If you have a large display, try out this Large Shipping Case with wheels.
Another helpful tip for trade show set up is to use black shrink wrap to cover valuables. When planning for a trade show, don’t ignore security. Thieves are still frequent at trade shows given the number of freebies and gifts up for grabs. So, keep your valuables and giveaways discrete, and don’t let people see what you have. Use black shrink wrap on all valuables (flat-screen televisions, kiosks, electronics) or giveaways for the show. Concealing your valuables with shrink wrap will also protect them from transit damage.
12. Follow up on leads!
Once you’re back in the office, contact your leads after the show. This is a vital trade show tip that so many people neglect. 75-80% of trade show leads are never followed up on. Don’t let these high-quality customers slip away. Establish a follow-up strategy in your post-trade show checklist. Categorize your leads and decide what follow-up strategy is best suited to them, whether that be a phone call or an email.