Trade shows won't help you achieve all of your marketing and business objectives. But they are an important milestone to getting there. A win on the trade show floor can reverberate throughout all your marketing efforts.
Here are seven tips to help your brand score points, win customers and be awesome:
1, Define your strategy for getting to the next level
2. Earn points by playing to win
3. Understand your arsenal and bring the right equipment
4. Know the rules
5. The game begins when you start playing
6. The game doesn't stop when the whistle blows
7. Refine your strategy to advance to the next level
to Win the
Trade Show Game
Tips to Score Points, Win Customers, and Be Awesome
Define your strategy for getting to the next level
Earn points by playing to win
Understand your arsenal and bring the right equipment
Know the rules
The game begins when you start playing
The game doesn’t stop when the whistle blows
Refine your strategy to advance to the next level
Trade shows won’t help you achieve all your
marketing and business objectives. But they’re
an important milestone to getting there. A win on
the trade show floor can reverberate throughout
all your marketing efforts.
1 Pg. 3
Here are seven tips to help your brand score points, win
customers and be awesome:
Creative Director & Strategist
Establish objectives for the show that ladder up
to your big marketing and business objectives.
Decide how many points you need to earn to
What do I mean by points? Points are significant
markers that show you’re achieving your
objectives: New or renewed relationships, trials,
demos conducted, qualified leads, business
deals, press, word-of-mouth… things that move
the needle for your brand.
WARNING: Don’t count fluff points; they don’t
matter, and actually detract from a winning
strategy. Case in point: High attendance and
millions of leads don’t matter if none of those
people are your actual buyers or targets.
/37 Ways to Win the Trade Show Game
Define Your Strategy
for Getting to
the Next Level
/47 Ways to Win the Trade Show Game
The best brands realize that trade shows are powerful experiences
where key stakeholder audiences come face-to-face with your brand.
To turn that stakeholder into a fan, a customer, an advocate, a buyer,
your presence should be a true brand experience—one that’s not just
authentic to who you are, but awesome.
What counts as “awesome”? Does that even mean anything? Admittedly,
it can be an over-used term (just listen in on any conversation with
anyone in the US under the age of 70). In daily life, it means the things
that bring surprise or delight—that stand out from all the sameness, that
bring a smile to our faces. It’s no different in the tradeshow world. Aim
for surprise and delight. Stand out. Be brave, and take creative risks (as
long as they’re relevant to your brand and audience).
To craft that winning experience, bring only the best tools that will help you earn points
and help you achieve your show-specific-objectives.
• News: something fresh and exciting to share with the audience. It can be about the
brand, a new product, a new campaign. Or it can be a fresh POV on the industry.
Whatever it is, make sure it’s new, and make sure it’s compelling.
• Staff: in our increasingly digital world, people still make all the difference. Don’t bring
the regional sales staff because it’s cheaper. Bring your stars, your best staff,
because you’ll realize a better return on investing in their presence.
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Arsenal and Bring
the Right Equipment
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• Content: your messages, your point-of-view, your talking points, your demos, your
presentations… All should be updated (duh), crisp, clear, and consistent.
• Property and space: sometimes you can’t control exactly where you end up…
but you can control how you show up. Create an environment that stimulates
connections and supports the brand messages.
• Channels: your people and your booth are not the only elements you can utilize to
create your experience. Stakeholders, both present and not in attendance, can be
engaged online through press, email, blog posts and brand-fueled updates. You
worked hard to build compelling content for the exhibit space—leverage it to
engage audiences elsewhere.
Understand Your Arsenal
and Bring the Right Equipment
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Know the Rules
Set yourself up for success by understanding what
you can and can’t do before you start designing your
experience. Even the most veteran exhibitors can get
dinged by a height restriction or fire code.
But beyond physical regulations, understand outreach
guidelines, sponsorship options, load-in dates, and
discount deadlines. Look out for opportunities that will
give you an edge. Then, seize them.
Give yourself extra time by starting early and
connecting with the right people before the
show. Preempt success by stimulating interest
before the show. Then, deliver that “awesome”
experience at the show.
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Begins When You
Do not think of trade shows as a
moment in time. Mentioned above,
these are milestones… relationship
watersheds. The goodness comes
from extending the trade show
Curate the most compelling content
from the show and publish it for
all. Build deeper relationships with
the audiences you met on site by
continuing the conversation. Follow
up with leads. Whatever you do,
don’t stop just because the show’s
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#7 Refine your
the next level
...once you’ve won this one.