Tradeshow Planning

Tradeshows are a major part of a lot of companies marketing and sales plans. These types of events allow businesses to get in front of their target audience for a fee. Depending on the tradeshow and the industry, these ways of promoting your business can be expensive, which is why we created this post to help you weed out the bad events and find ones that are best for you business.

1. Do Your Research: There are hundreds if not thousands of tradeshows that happen every year. It is important to create a spreadsheet of the ones that are happening in your area as well as across the country (and world if it applies) to know what is out there. From that list you can start weeding out ones that don’t fit within your budget or don’t apply to your industry. However, think outside the box. If you’re an environmental company who participates mostly in green expos with other green businesses, you might also do well at an outdoor adventure tradeshow because most likely your target audience would be active too. Which leads me to my next tip…

2. Know Your Target Audience: Like any kind of marketing, you must know what your perfect client looks like in order to know where they are, what they want to hear and how you could benefit them or their business. Once you know exactly what your perfect client looks like you can start looking at the above list of expos and decide if that person will be at those shows or not. Only spend money on the tradeshows that will benefit your business; whether it is selling to consumers or aligning yourself with new partners, make sure your money is being spent wisely!

3. Plan, Plan, Plan: Once you have decided what your perfect client looks like and have picked the events that work for your business and budget, next you need to plan what you will be promoting at the tradeshow. Pick the appropriate giveaway(s) whether it is the standard logoed pens and key chains or maybe something more valuable like backpacks or apparel that you can do a drawing for. You must have a plan of action for these events. You have targeted eyeballs that you need to convert somehow, what will you do? Get them to sign up for a giveaway, do a drawing, giveaway a free book that is a teaser to your product and/or service, free quotes, etc? Don’t just go to a tradeshow, setup and sit there, you want to walk away with a certain number of leads and sales, plan for them! Also, don’t forget about planning your follow-up strategy. After the tradeshow you need to know what you are going to do with all the business cards/information you collect, who is following up and how. Don’t lose the sale!

4. Have a Post Mortem Meeting: This is a step that is easy to forget to do or not schedule in because we are all so busy, however you must do this to measure results, brainstorm what worked and what didn’t, and decide if you will attend next year.

5. Have Fun! Most importantly, you need to make sure all of the employees that are working the booth(s) are having fun and are friendly and approachable. They are representing your brand and company; make sure they are doing a fantastic job!

For ideas on giveaway items, check out our website,