5 Steps to Trade Show Success

July 12, 2015

Tradeshows are a great form of marketing - you’re visible in front of hundreds to thousands of people and your branding and positioning are obvious.

Although they are a great outlet to help boost sales and cushion your public relations efforts, there are certain steps you need to take to help you get the best ROI and experience trade show success.

Step 1: Carefully Consider the Tradeshow

Attending just any or every tradeshow can be detrimental to your sales process. The tradeshow you attend should be:

·         Relevant to your product or service

·         Include attendees who would be interested in your product or service

·         May be attended by competitors (good for research purposes)

You can also get creative with the tradeshows you choose if you feel like your brand can make an impression on an audience. A health and fitness product may also work at a parenting show to help parents get back on track with their fitness goals.

Step 2: Get Into Social Media

These days, most every tradeshow and conference is associated with a hashtag i.e. #BlogHer13. Becoming a part of this conversation is a great way to generate interest with attendees and help boost your social media presence. Since people know you’re there, you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc. to let people know where they can find you, be part of your promotion and talk about your products or post about those you’ve connected with.

The blog is also a great place to tout your attendance and success. Use it to post press releases and don’t forget to cross-publish on your company’s LinkedIn page.

Step 3: Prepare Your Team

Attending a tradeshow is one thing, but more important is knowing what you’re going to do when you get there.  Practice answering possible questions and fielding negative comments. Public relations works only when your team knows how to work it. Before heading to a tradeshow, be sure to:

·         Practice your elevator pitch

·         Know the pros and cons of your product

·         Practice explaining how your product can be a solution to a variety of problems

·         Know how to demonstrate the product

·         Understand how to be a better salesperson at your tradeshow booth

Step 4: Design an Appealing Tradeshow Booth

A drab and boring tradeshow display falls in comparison to a visually appealing and attractive display. Shed your brand in the best of light with a pop up display booth. An attractive booth includes a few elements:

·         A cohesive color pattern and design

·         An interactive feature (where attendees can touch and play with your product)

·         An overall theme

·         Branded products and information (easy-to-understand and not overwhelming)

·         Intriguing and luring content

Step 5: Be Giving!

Whether it’s a generous giveaway that’s easy to enter or a simple, “Thank you for visiting,” parting gift, give out lots of goodies. People always gravitate towards free things. Don’t give out just anything though. Provide trinkets and treats that are relevant to your brand and use this as a place to exercise your creative license. Product samples, branded thumb drives and sun glasses are just a few ideas. You can also hold drawings for larger prizes like a free month of service, a free iPad etc.

When thinking about attending a tradeshow, think like the attendee. Is your product or service relevant to someone attending this tradeshow and will they come to your booth to see what it’s about? If the answer is yes, then start designing your tradeshow booth, pack your things and hit the road. Good luck!

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Partner Voices
Less than six months ago, Lisa Messina joined the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) as the first-ever chief sales officer after leading the sales team at Caesars Entertainment. A 12-year Las Vegas resident, Messina is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and serves on MPI International’s board of directors. TSNN had a chance to catch up with this dynamic leader and talk to her about her vision for the new role, current shifts in the trade show industry, creating more diversity and equity within the organization, and advice to future female leaders. Lisa Messina, Chief Sales Officer, LVCVA With Las Vegas becoming The Greatest Arena on EarthTM, what are some of the things you’re most excited about in your role? Our team was at The Big Game’s handoff ceremony earlier this month, and I couldn’t help but think, “We’re going to crush it next year!”  These high-profile events and venues not only drive excitement, but also provide unmatched opportunities for event planners. Allegiant Stadium hosts events from 10 to 65,000 people and offers on-field experiences. Formula 1 Grand Prix will take place in Las Vegas in November, after the year-one F1 race, the four-story paddock building will be available for buyouts and will also offer daily ride-along experiences that will be available for groups. And, of course, the MSG Sphere officially announced that it will open in September, ahead of schedule, with a U2 residency. It’s going to be the most technologically advanced venue as far as lighting, sound, feel, and even scent, and it will be available for buyouts and next-level sponsorships inside and outside. There’s no ceiling to what you can do when you’re doing events in Las Vegas.  Allegiant Stadium As the trade show and convention business returns to the pre-pandemic levels, what shifts are you noticing and how do you think they will impact the industry going forward? Our trade show organizers are very focused on driving customer experience. Most of our organizers are reporting stronger exhibitor numbers and increased numbers of new exhibitors, with trade shows proving to be almost or above 2019 levels. Now our organizers are really doubling down on driving attendance and focusing on the data to provide that individualized, customized experience to help attendees meet their goals and get the best value. Some companies continue to be cautiously optimistic with their organizational spend when it comes to sending attendees, but I think it will continue to improve. As the U.S. Travel Association makes more progress on the U.S. visa situation, we also expect a growing influx of international attendees. What are some innovative ways the LVCVA helps trade show and convention organizers deliver the most value for their events? We focus on customer experience in the same way that trade show organizers are thinking about it. We got rave reviews with the West Hall Expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), so over the next two years, we will be renovating the North and the Central halls, which will include not just the same look and feel, but also the digital experiences that can be leveraged for branding and sponsorship opportunities.  Vegas Loop, the underground transportation system designed by The Boring Company, is also a way we have enhanced the customer experience. Vegas Loop at the LVCC has transported more than 900,000 convention attendees across the campus since its 2021 launch. Last summer, Resorts World and The Boring Company opened the first resort stop at the Resorts World Las Vegas , with plans to expand throughout the resort corridor, including downtown Las Vegas, Allegiant Stadium and Harry Reid International Airport. The LVCVA also purchased the Las Vegas Monorail in 2020, the 3.9-mile-long elevated transportation system that connects eight resorts directly to the convention center campus. This is the only rail system in the world that integrates fares directly into show badges and registration. For trade show organizers, these transportation options mean saving time, money and effort when it comes to moving groups from the hotels to LVCC and around the city. Also, the more we can focus on building the infrastructure around the convention center, the more it supports the customer experience and ultimately supports our trade show organizers. Scheduled to debut in Q4, Fontainebleau Las Vegas will offer 3,700 hotel rooms and 550,000 square feet of meeting and convention space next to LVCC.  What are some of the plans for advancing DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) within your organization? We’re currently partnering with instead of working with a leading consulting firm, to lay the foundation and create a solid DEI plan and be the leader when it comes to DEI initiatives. The heart of that journey with the consulting firm is also talking to our customers about their strategic approaches to DEI and driving innovation in this space.  What are your favorite ways to recharge? My husband and I have an RV and we’re outdoorsy people. So, while we have over 150,000 world-class hotel rooms and renowned restaurants right outside our doorstep, one of my favorite things to do is get out to Red Rock Canyon, the Valley of Fire, and Lake Mead. Five of the top national parks are within a three-hour drive from Las Vegas, so there’s a lot you can do. We love balancing the energy of Las Vegas with nature, and we’re noticing that a lot of attendees add activities off the Strip when they come here.  Valley of Fire What advice would you give to women following leadership paths in destination marketing? I think it’s about being laser-focused on what you want to accomplish; building a team around you that lifts you and helps you achieve your goals; and being humble and realizing that you do it as a group. No one gets this done alone. Thankfully, there are a lot of women in leadership in this organization, in our customers’ organizations, and in this city that we can be really proud of. We’re a formidable force that is making things happen.   This interview has been edited and condensed. This article is exclusively sponsored by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority. For more information, visit HERE.