7 Tips to Boost Your Trade Show Traffic

tradeshow pic

2018 trade show time is here. Many exciting and educational trade shows, like our favorites NRA Show 2018, RSPA RetailNOW2018, and Nightclub and Bar will be underway this year and if you were wondering if it’s worth it for businesses to participate, it is!  According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR)’s, U.S. trade shows still remain one of the most profitable business-to-business (B2B) media strategies, and generated more than 12.6 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2015. The steps to take to make your exhibition a success can be overwhelming.  We have compiled a short list of suggestions to help with the exciting madness and assist in producing profits for your business.

Promote! Social sharing is a great tool for advertising your brand on your social media outlets beforehand. Make use of event specific hashtags, landing pages and promo codes for discounts to welcome your booth attendees weeks prior to the opening day. Creating a Facebook Event page and livestreaming from the page at the show is a great way to remind your potential audience that they need to be where you and your product are. Direct your audience and networks to your booth number using on-the-spot Tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram pictures so they know where to be to join in on the excitement.

Display! Your display should be an attention grabbing area with bright colors, bold images, dynamic graphics, unique branded items (don’t forget your URLs!), and separate areas to learn about the product. Future POS displayed a custom 1970 GTO for the PRLA show 2017, complete with a twist of Future POS styling, and was definitely an eye catching sight to lure guests in for a look. A 2016 survey from Statista showed 74% of the respondents said that they were more likely to purchase products that were promoted with branding.

social media

Engage! Your prospects want to learn something new and you want them to walk away and remember you.  Your tradeshow booth should be manned with knowledgeable and friendly representatives that can lead them to that discovery. Promising customers will walk away with a bad impression if their questions aren’t answered fast or at least directed to someone that can answer. Interactive formats and giveaways are an easy way to draw the crowd to your area.

Giveaways! Giveaways don’t necessarily have to be customized to fit to your industry, but they should carry your logo and URL to promote your brand. They can be for fun or convenience, or a little bit of both, and do the amazing job of building your brand. Fun, useful swag is memorable swag. Another takeaway for the consumer is a sturdy and sharply branded bag to walk around with, creating walking advertisements to assist in lugging around throughout the customer’s trade show experience (win-win).

Get that Contact Info! Make sure to offer squeeze pages, digital self-serve kiosks, or the traditional paper in the fishbowl method plus a chance to win a cool prize to entice your prospect to hand over their email.

Follow up right!  Do not spam your follow-ups! Make a specific plan for your initial follow up and allow your leads to want to come to you. ASK your customers if they would like to be a subscriber to your newsletters so they can learn all the ways a relationship with you will be beneficial and not a waste in their inbox. Make sure not to wait weeks to follow up, and offer your future customers informational and promotional content in just a few emails days after the event until THEY subscribe to you.

HAVE FUN! That’s pretty self-explanatory.


Trade show fun facts

  • The first tradeshow was The Great Exhibition, held on May 1, 1851 in Hyde Park Central London.
  • The most popular and most received promotional item is a branded pen.
  • Trade shows with the largest attendees are auto shows
  • Las Vegas holds the most trade shows of any city



About the Author

John Giles

John Giles has over 30 years of experience developing point of sale software for the hospitality industry. John is the President of Future POS , headquartered in Butler Pennsylvania. Future POS currently has over 18,000 customers across the U.S., and you may have seen them featured on the reality show Bar Rescue as the featured POS system.