Trade Shows

5 Essential Trade Show Marketing Tips

5 things to think about when sponsoring a trade show

Sponsoring events or trade shows is a big part of Marketing Budgets. According to Bizzabo, “55% of B2B organizations spend over 21% of their marketing budgets on events.” However it is often difficult to get the most out of these investments. It can be hard to stand out among a crowd of other sponsors at industry events. Having meaningful conversations with leads at the event can be difficult and follow-up after the event doesn’t always yield the results you expected.

However, good planning and strategy pre-show can help you stand out at the event and maximize your ROI on your spend.

Here are five things to think about when planning and setting a strategy for your event marketing and trade show sponsorships.

1. Goals

You need to decide what you want out of your sponsorship of the trade show. Is it strictly a lead generation effort? Are you looking to promote a new product or service? When it comes to trade show attendees, are any of your target accounts or customers attending the event? Are there other benefits like brand exposure or thought-leadership that might be harder to quantify?

These are just some questions you need to ask yourself. The answers you come up with can help you set goals for the trade show. This will help your team determine the success of the event afterwards.

2. Messaging and Theme

This is the fun part. It is important to go with a theme and look that gets your company’s brand and current marketing messaging across. Just as every English teacher ever told you, being concise is the best way to be successful. Use language that is easy to understand, stay away from jargon. Make a memorable tagline or slogan that will separate you from other exhibitors. Have some fun with it, if it’s too dull of a theme, it will not stand out. When it comes to deciding on your marketing strategy, start with your messaging, signage and theme.

Once you have come up with the theme and slogan, you can work on the design of your trade show booth or exhibit at the show. And you can purchase company swag or giveaways that fit within your theme and overall branding. This is also why your theme and slogan will be important; if they are well received by booth traffic, attendees will be more likely to want to wear or use the swag you give them!

3. Get Everyone on the Same Page

Communicate your theme and messaging to the team that will be on the show floor at the event. Talk through all the details (even if it seems unnecessary). Make sure your team is dressed correctly – this can fit with your theme or fit with the culture of the event. Make sure everyone is clear of where they are expected to be at the event. Also it is good to set goals or targets for the event. There is nothing worse than having a team that is confused or doesn’t know what they are supposed to be doing at the event. For example if you’re looking for new leads, then getting a potential customer’s contact information or business card is vitally important. It’s worth trying to set some targets for this.

4. Social Media

This is a reminder that when sponsoring, you must use social media to get your company’s word out about sponsoring the trade show. Use the social media sites that work best for you. You can help get the word out to the attendees of the event, but also help amplify your messaging from the event to a wider audience. Use video and photos to show the experience you have created. Ensure as a part of your trade show marketing strategy, you post updates, tweets and videos well ahead of time to generate interest.

5. Follow Up

This is perhaps the most crucial part of your event strategy. Have specific tasks in place for follow-up after the event. Follow-up emails are important, but what else can you do to stand out? Maybe hold the swag back at the event and send it afterwards so your leads don’t have to carry it and it gives you a chance to stay fresh in their minds when they are back in the office. can help with this with our Swag Inventory option, you can just upload your list after the event and we mail some swag directly to your prospects.

Marketers spend a lot of money on events. It is important to take these few steps ahead of the game for your next trade show, to help you get the most return from your investment and to create a good experience that your current and future customers will remember.