How to generate sales at a trade show event

By Sandra Christian on March 28, 2023


Preparation is one of the most important aspects of making sure your trade show event is a success. You will need to make sure you are well prepared for the event, from gathering the materials you need to have an effective sales strategy in place. Taking the time to plan ahead will ensure your booth stands out and you are ready to make sales on the day of the event.

Research the trade show

Before you attend the trade show, it is essential to do your research. You need to know who will be attending, the event’s purpose, and what products and services will be on display. By researching the trade show and its attendees thoroughly, you can better target specific buyers and consumers that may be more interested in your product or service.

You also must determine exactly how you plan to generate sales by cutting through the noise at a crowded event. Effective tactics for driving sales include:
-Lead capturing to collect data about visitors by offering a special deal for their contact information.
-Developing an interactive demo space to engage visitors with your product or service.
-Offering free gifts or coupons as enticements for potential customers.
-Creating an attention-grabbing booth design that stands out from the competition.
-Developing engaging written materials such as brochures, flyers, or posters.
-Providing tasty samples of food or beverages related to your business’ products.

Develop a strategy

Before stepping foot onto the show floor, it is important to have a plan in place. Start by determining goals for the event, such as a specific number of leads or sales. Think about what you need to do to reach those goals and break down tasks into measurable objectives — for example, distributing 300 leaflets or setting up 10 appointments within the two-day show.

An effective way to accomplish measurable objectives is by establishing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and other performance metrics. Decide how you are going to track success and devise a way to measure returns on investment (ROI). This could be tracking booth visits during the trade show, leads obtained through surveys, or even analysis of website traffic data following the event.

By having an organized approach with achievable targets, it is easier to assess what worked well and make any changes needed across each trade show’s lifespan in order to increase effectiveness.

Create a booth design

Before signing up for a trade show, it is important to research the type of event you plan to participate in. Trade shows are popular for a variety of industries and range from tiny events sponsored by local organizations to large, international shows. It is important to understand the specific type of target audience you will be marketing your product or service to and evaluate the potential customers who will be attending the event.

Once you have chosen a trade show event that is appropriate for your company’s products or services, the next step is to create an eye-catching booth design. The design should include visuals that draw attention to your booth and accurately represent your brand and message. Consider using creative elements such as displays, interactive activities and bright colors that will grab attendees’ attention before they reach any other exhibitor booths. Additionally, make sure that there is enough space in the booth so customers can move around comfortably while also having enough space for staff members so they can engage with customers easily. Finally, consider unique elements such as giveaways or contests which can help drive foot traffic toward your booth
and increase rapport with potential customers...

Prepare promotional materials

When planning a trade show event, it is important to have promotional materials ready to give out to potential customers. Your promotional materials should be targeted toward the specific goals of the event, such as increasing brand awareness or launching a new product. Items such as pamphlets, sales sheets, and business cards are all useful components of any trade show event.

When holding an event at a trade show, making sure you have enough materials printed up and obtained on time is key to success. You want your items to be of good quality while also representing your brand in a positive, professional way that leaves lasting impressions on all customers you encounter.

Other aspects of preparing your promotional materials include researching possible competitors and sponsors ahead of time. Researching in advance can help you decide what kind of material you need at the actual show, as well as give insight into what other companies may be offering in terms of promotions; this can help inform any adjustments needed to stay competitive within the event itself.


Marketing is an essential element of any trade show event. You need to ensure that your company is being presented in the best possible light so that potential customers are attracted to your booth. This is how you can generate more sales through effective marketing techniques at a trade show event.

Leverage social media

Social media offers a great opportunity for businesses to promote their trade show appearance in the weeks leading up to the event. This can mean turning existing online followers into customers and also reaching out to potential new customers who may not have heard about your business.

Start by creating an event page on your website, or even if you don't have an official website, create a dedicated page on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram for the upcoming trade show. Promote this page by regularly posting updates about the event's activities, giveaways, and any special promotions that you plan. Additionally, consider boosting those posts so they reach more people.

Also, it’s a good idea to engage influencers in your niche with proximity to the event venue to encourage them to share your posts and get people interested in attending the show. Furthermore, don't forget to include hashtags related to the trade show when promoting via social media – this will give you greater reach and draw more attention to your brand.
Finally, make sure you are taking advantage of all available opportunities after an event as well; post photos of attendees at your booth or any activities that went on during the day so you can continue funneling visitors towards inquiring about more information from you after leaving your stand at a trade show.

Create a press release

Creating a press release is a powerful method to let people know that your business will be attending a trade show. It should be informative, highlighting the products and services you will be showcasing at the event. Publishing a press release helps create attention and generates interest in advance of the event, allowing you to attract more customers once the event is underway.

When writing your press release, it’s important to include:
-The name of your company and its core product or service
-What makes it special compared to competitors
-Highlights from last year's trade show appearances
-Any awards that have been won in previous years
-Your objectives for exhibiting at this year's event
-Why potential customers should stop by your booth during the show
By giving people an idea of what you are providing and why they should care about it, you can generate more enthusiasm for your company. After publishing the press release, make sure to spread it further through social media accounts as well as email campaigns so it reaches even more potential leads before and during the trade show.

Utilize email marketing

Email marketing is an effective way to market your products at a trade show event. You can create a series of emails tailored to attract people who may be interested in what you are offering. Sending out emails that have engaging subject lines and informative content can help draw attendees to your booth and get them interested in what you have to offer. During the event, you should make sure to follow up with each potential lead so that they remember your business and the products on display.

In addition to email, you should also utilize other digital marketing strategies such as social media, SEO optimization, and content creation. This can help drive organic traffic from potential customers searching for trade shows or products similar to yours. On social media, be sure to set up a page for your company that includes basic information about your company’s mission and values as well as photos and videos of the trade show booth and product offerings. This will attract people who may not have intended on visiting the show but may be interested after seeing some of your content online.

Utilizing these digital marketing tactics before, during, and after an event can help you reach more potential customers without relying solely on foot traffic or word-of-mouth advertising at the trade show itself

Advertise your attendance

When it comes to generating sales from a trade show event, it is important to ensure that attendees have heard about your presence. Advertising should begin months before the event and should be visible throughout the day of the show.

To successfully attract potential customers to your vendor station, start by creating a simple poster or flyer that lets people know you will be attending and offering discounts or special incentives. If a professional designer isn’t available, many online websites provide templates for marketing materials for trade show events. Another option is to create an effective hashtag that can be used leading up to the event.

Be sure to post updates on social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Additionally, advertise in industry magazines or on your company website with links directly access your trade show page where attendees can find out more information about you and your offerings. These activities help direct traffic directly to you while creating brand recognition in the process.

Using email marketing is another great way to get people interested in what you are offering at the trade show before they even get there; send special offers via email list subscribers with details on freebies or discounts that can only be redeemed at the event which will have them flocking to your booth once they arrive! Last but not least, follow up after the event with those who showed interest in what you had to offer -- this extra level of service allows new customers to experience positive interactions during their first interaction with your brand which will likely increase future sales opportunities.


Trade show events present a great opportunity for businesses to generate sales. On-site marketing strategies are key to success at a trade show. You can use banners, flyers, and posters to draw attention to your booth, and you can use sales staff and product demonstrations to engage potential buyers. It is also important to create a sense of urgency with incentives and discounts to encourage customers to purchase your product.

Greet attendees

As the event host, you play a key role in creating a positive and welcoming atmosphere for your attendees upon arrival to the event. Greeting attendees when they arrive is an important step in making them feel welcome and valued. This can be done through direct engagement with each individual or through using tools such as name tags, signage, or instructions that direct participants toward their next steps upon arrival.

You want to greet each attendee with enthusiasm and warmth, making them feel welcomed from the start – even before the actual program begins. You can offer up your assistance and guide visitors toward their next steps in the check-in process or navigate their way around the event space. Making this engagement personal is important so that visitors don’t feel like just another “order number”; focusing on fundamentals such as good eye contact, listening intently, and responding with acknowledgment of what they say will help create a memorable experience at your event.

Other key components to consider in your greeting process include utilizing resources such as staff or volunteers to help ensure all guests are being attended to properly and having materials prepared if needed (e.g., name tags). Don’t forget that small gestures also go a long way - thanking people for attending or providing refreshments during registration are additional ways to express gratitude towards your guests for coming out for an amazing event experience!

Offer incentives

When it comes to generating sales at a trade show event, one of the most popular ways to draw people in is to offer incentives. As an exhibitor, you can create promotions such as discounts and giveaways to incentivize potential customers to make a purchase.

Incentives are a great way to create urgency and motivate shoppers on the spot. Discounts are a powerful motivator for customers who are trying to decide between different products or services - allowing them to save money and make their decision right away. Additionally, offering prizes or giveaways can also be effective for drawing more attention to your booth and providing incentives for people signing up for product demos or information about services.

These types of incentives can help you stand out from the competition on the showroom floor, encourage customers towards making purchases, and increase sales overall at your trade show event. It's important not to underestimate the power that incentives have when it comes to creating sales opportunities - so be sure to explore what types of promotions could work best for your situation.

Collect contact information

Collecting contact information from attendees is the most vital part of generating sales at a trade show event, it ensures that you have the data on hand to target potential prospects and follow up after the event.

One way to facilitate this is by having a booth sign-up sheet with name and contact details so that you can capture relevant information for future marketing efforts. Additionally, you should have someone designated to engage visitors in conversation as they pass your booth so that they willingly provide their details or reach out after the event.

Alternatively, implementing modern technologies like iPads at booths helps automate this process by allowing visitors to submit their information via an online form. Furthermore, the use of promotional materials like pens with company logos or USBs offers visitors an incentive to leave some basic contact info in order to show interest in your trade show booth.

Overall, collecting attendee contact info is key for follow-up sales efforts; it allows you to create segmented lists tailored according to your interests, accurately measure return on investment (ROI), and even convert leads into prospects if done well.

Network with other exhibitors

Networking with other exhibitors before, during, and after a trade show event can help you generate more sales and establish relationships that benefit you down the line. Before the event, focus on creating conversations with other exhibitors to learn what their goals for the show are, what strategies they plan to use to attract customers, and even ask for advice on how you can best represent your brand and increase any leads or sales. Doing so will give you insight into best practices as well as build relationships.

By networking during the show, your goal should be to create genuine and meaningful interactions with visitors while also looking out for opportunities in which you could possibly collaborate with another exhibitor. Combining efforts can help bring in potential leads from a larger customer base. Additionally, by attending informational sessions of interest and joining panel discussions hosted by industry leaders related to your product/service niche, you can position yourself as an authority in your field— especially if you utilize your followers via social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Finally, when it's time to pack up a post-trade show event, take time out of your schedule to share a call or lunch date with your fellow exhibitors who left an impression on you throughout the event. Doing so will ensure lasting relations between businesses even after the expo's end!


Following up with potential clients after a trade show event is an important step in generating sales. It helps to maintain long-term relationships with potential clients and can help build brand recognition. Follow-up also allows you to gauge the interest of potential clients and tailor your sales pitch accordingly. In this section, we will discuss the importance of follow-up and strategies for staying in touch with potential clients after a trade show event.

Send thank you emails

As a follow-up to your involvement in a trade show event, it’s important to stay in touch with potential customers. After making initial contact and giving presentations, it’s important to thank attendees for their time and consideration. Sending thoughtful thank-you emails is an effective way to stay top of mind among prospects and continue the conversation about your product or service.

To ensure your post-event emails are opened and read, be sure to customize them for each prospect. Create personal messages that address the questions each attendee asked during the event or highlight any specific areas of interest they expressed. Adding value by sharing useful resources related to their needs is also often beneficial. Make sure that you maintain a professional, friendly tone throughout the communication.

When crafting emails post-event, limit yourself to thanking customers only once or twice before asking if they would like to set up further talks or arrange a demo. This indicates that you respect customers but also hints at how serious you are about maintaining ongoing relationships with them. Offering to answer questions or assist in any way possible can be appreciated by prospects who had difficulties at the event navigation-wise or failed to obtain sufficient information from other vendors before their arrival, although it’s always good practice is focus on relating your company’s solutions as much as possible back into the conversation instead of simply offering free technical advice unrelated to your own product/service line.

When sending a follow-up thank you emails post-event, being proactive is key—the quicker you get out those emails after a show ends, the more chance there will be of staying top of mind amongst attendees as they compare vendors who were present at the event and make their decisions moving forward!

Follow up with leads

After a successful trade show event, it is important to follow up promptly with all the leads you made. This can be done through cold calling and emailing, or through direct mail that includes flyers, catalogs, and other promotional materials relevant to the interests of the attendees. When making initial contact with potential clients after the show, it is important to make personal connections that let them know that you remember their specific needs.

You should also follow up post-event by allowing attendees to sign up on your website for any future news and offers you may have available. In addition, build relationships in person with key industry contacts while at the event - this will enable you to build a network of professionals who are familiar with your product or services and can help spread the word about your offering after the event has concluded. Finally, using customer feedback from the exhibition can be incredibly valuable for improving your product offer and for creating content for future marketing activities - take time to analyze customer satisfaction outcomes soon after the event has finished and strive to turn these results into positive enhancements that will help secure more sales next time around!

Track your results

One of the best ways to measure the success of your trade show is to track your results. By tracking your results, you will be able to see what sales strategies worked and what ones failed.

When evaluating each sales tactic, it is important to consider both the number of leads generated and the type of leads that were generated. For example, a higher number of leads does not necessarily equate to a more effective show strategy. Instead, you should look at what types of leads were generated (i.e. those who expressed intent to make an immediate purchase vs those who requested follow-up materials). By assessing the quality of generated leads rather than just quantity, you can better determine which strategies worked and which ones need improvement for future shows.

Moreover, understanding how each trade show fare influenced existing customer relationships should be part of the evaluation process as well. It’s not just about generating new business but also about enhancing previous relationships with current customers as well as potential future customers. Tracking customer behavior in response to your company’s participation in a show can help inform long-term sales strategies beyond individual events or specific products/services being promoted at that event.

By actively tracking your results after each trade show - including lead counts and quality - you will gain valuable insight into what resonates with attendees who visit your booth and learn how best to engage with them every step along the way leading up to their sale or continued involvement with your product/service/business overall

Analyze your success

After the event, take time to reflect on your experiences and analyze your success. Analyze the trade show data you collected, including sales reports, surveys, and customer feedback. Make sure to thoroughly review all of the information you have available so you can develop effective strategies for future events.

Examine which products or services garnered the most interest and generated the most sales for your company. Consider utilizing additional marketing tactics such as social media campaigns or other forms of advertising to draw attention to those products/services specifically. You should also review any customer feedback that you received so that you can evaluate how effective your company’s messaging was at the event and make any necessary adjustments in order to improve engagement in future events.

By studying data from prior shows and making notes on what worked (and what didn't) during the event, you can begin to build a valuable database of information that will help shape and guide your marketing efforts down the line. Use this data to customize future events according to customer needs and interests. Such customization will ensure that each show is more successful than the last!

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