Event Marketing 101: The 12 Point Trade Show Checklist

Whether you’re a trade show rookie or have been attending trade shows as an exhibitor long enough to write a book about it, one thing is clear: there’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to marketing your booth. We put together this 12 point trade show booth checklist to help you market, plan and make the most of your experience as an exhibitor.

1. Set Your Goals

Purchasing a booth at a tradeshow without a plan of action is like Examples: makes a sale, get 20 prospects, speak with 10 industry leaders, find 10 recruiting prospects, do market research.

2. Decide on Your Main Message

You only get a few seconds to convince people to stop by your booth.  You need a message that will entice people to stop and check out your booth, whatever that message is, it needs to be everywhere from your custom designed event passes to the t-shirts your staff are wearing.


Trade show marketing tips for 2015

3. Select Your Booth

Tradeshow booths sell out quickly, especially prime locations such as those at the end of an aisle and those near the hub of the tradeshow. Select a location where you won’t be too close to your competitors and are sure to get as close to the action as you can.

4. Design Your Marketing Materials

Don’t wait until the last minute to design and print your marketing materials. You may need time to adjust the layout or the design of a template and planning ahead can help you avoid mistakes that can happen when people are under stress.

Also, one thing many people don’t realize when printing their marketing materials is that the colors on the screen are not always the same colors that come out of the printer. You can avoid this by working closely with a professional printer and doing a test run before printing all of your materials.

5. Order Your Promotional Items

Showing up at a tradeshow without any promotional swag to hand out is almost as bad as forgetting your marketing materials. Decide what items you want to giveaway whether it’s custom lanyards with your logo on them, pens, tote bags or other small tokens. All of these are easy to carry, pack into luggage and most of all, useful.

6. Determine Your Staffing Requirements

Create a booth schedule and distribute it to your staff before the show so that you don’t leave your booth empty.  Tradeshows often have workshops and training sessions that your staff may want to attend – distributing the schedule early will allow you to make sure that you have at least 2 people at the booth at all times.

7. Train Your Staff on Booth Etiquette

Does your staff know what to do when a prospect approaches the booth? Do you have a process in place for gathering information? Do they know how to qualify prospects at the show so that follow up after the show is more effective? Train your staff to spot opportunities and put a lead capture process in place. You may want to assign certain tasks to your staff such as walking the floor, manning the booth and attending workshops, seminars or networking events.

8. Order Your Trade Show Badges and Lanyards

Make sure to have your custom event passes and branded lanyards designed, printed and shipped at least a few weeks before the show. At Event Passes, we can have your order turned around in as little as 48 hours, but it’s always best to plan ahead. There’s nothing that can break your branding more than having your staff branded from head to toe, but wearing a competitor’s or off-brand lanyard to secure their credentials!

9. Promote Your Booth

Blog about it, shout it out on social media, send out mailers to your potential customers or do an email blast. Chances are you’re spending good money on that tradeshow booth, so it’s important to make the most of it. Booth promotion isn’t just something that should happen at the event.  Make sure you’re publicizing your participation about a month in advance.

10. Come Prepared

You can count on Murphey’s Law that the unexpected can and will happen. Assemble a box of common everyday items that you may need during the show such as business cards, scotch tape, bottled water, an extra notepad or two, a screwdriver, bandaids, pain killers, pens, highlighters, post- it notes and an extension cord. You never know when one of these items might save the day.

11. Get Your Display Booth in Order

Work with your vendors to ensure that your tradeshow graphics and marketing materials have been designed and orders have been placed. Make sure to confirm delivery dates on everything, including banners, displays and even the small details such as your event credentials and lanyards. Don’t forget to follow up promptly if your items don’t arrive by the stated date.

12. After the Show

Congratulate yourself and your team on a successful tradeshow experience and then it’s time to follow up with your leads.  As part of the planning process, you’ve put together a process for following up either by email, direct mail, phone or all three. Now is the time to take action as you have about a one week window to follow up before your impression starts wearing off.

Don’t wait until the last minute to order your tradeshow event credentials and lanyards – fill out our contact form and request a quote today. Our event passes are made in the USA and can be designed, printed and shipped within 48 hours of your order.