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Trade show marketing is an incredible way to get a product or service in front of thousands of people on any given day.  But if you look around at any trade show, you’ll discover a sea of other companies vying for attention.  To ensure that your trade show marketing efforts don’t fall flat, consider these trade show tips that are guaranteed to draw in a crowd, help you reach your goals, and allow you to get the maximum return on your investment.

Trade Show Marketing Tips

1.  Design, Design, Design

You only have a few seconds to capture an attendee’s attention, so it is crucial that you capture their attention, and do so quickly.  You want to wow them from the get-go and give them a reason to visit your space.  From lighting to displays to seating and even your staff’s uniforms, make sure the design of your trade show space is visually appealing and functional, consistent with your brand’s image, and speaks to your target consumer.  Logos should be consistent and prominent but also displayed naturally, you don’t want to crowd the space with too many words, but you want people to know who you are.

2.  Keep Materials Simple

If you are handing out any type of brochures or literature, keep it simple (and eco-friendly).  The smaller and the less wordy the material, the better.  No trade show attendee wants to carry around a bunch of brochures (or flyers) that offer little to no value. If you feel like literature is a must, come up with an offer to include such as a free eBook or whitepaper, a digital coupon, or some type of exclusive offer.  In doing this, attendees will be more apt to hang on to what you give them.

3.  Interactive Exhibits for the Win

You want to engage your booth guests in an unforgettable way.  Give them something to do that allows them to engage with your brand.  This can range from the simplest of elements like a prize wheel to something more elaborate like a hashtag mosaic or virtual reality experience.

Mosaic Wall

Mosaic Wall by Luster

4.  Rely on Professionals to Engage Attendees and Convey Brand Messaging

Your employees may be great at what they do, and they may know everything about your company, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will know how to work the trade show crowd.  Event staffing companies can provide you with confident, experienced and professional trade show staff who know the ins and outs of engaging trade show attendees while subtly relaying brand messaging.  They will be able to assist with engagement and bring in leads as long as you provide them with the necessary tools and training that will set them up for success.  Train them on the history of your brand, your goals, brand messaging, FAQs, and who you are targeting to ensure that interactions come off as authentic and sincere.

Trade Show Marketing Staff


5.  Don’t Limit Yourself to the Exhibit Hall

While the main event will be inside, the opportunities are endless outside of the exhibit hall.  Consider using a street team outside of the convention center to catch attendees before they enter the building and give them a reason to visit your booth before they are bombarded with the “noise” inside.  An exclusive offer, a contest, or an upgraded swag item are a few ways to drive people to your booth.

6.  Offer Something That Will Make Attendees Hang Around

Once you attract someone to your booth, you’ll want to offer them an incentive to hang around your space.  The longer they are there, the more opportunity you have to make a lasting brand impression.  Not to mention, if other people see a crowd at your booth, they will be intrigued by the offering.  Here are a few ideas to keep people lingering:

  • Comfortable seating with mobile charging stations so attendees can recharge ALL of their batteries.  If your space isn’t large enough for seating, mobile charging towers are also a great option.
  • Laptop or iPad stations that allow guests to check and respond to emails.
  • An interesting video that is relatable to the trade-show itself.
  • Interactive elements and/or games and activities.
  • Cold beverages and packaged healthy snacks.
Trade Show Marketing

Seating with mobile charging stations by Totally Mod

7.  Give Away Freebies (Useable Freebies That Is)

Promotional items and swag are great offers, but if the swag is no-so-great itself, it’s most likely going to wind up in the trash can or left behind in a hotel room.  Get creative when you are thinking about your swag items and offer items that attendees will actually use.

What’s hot:  mobile device chargers with a variety of connectors, umbrellas, and stainless-steel water bottles.

What’s not:  pens, keychains, and bulky items.


If you take away anything from this article, remember simplicity, functionality, and engagement are the three key areas that you will want to focus on when planning your next trade show marketing campaign.

For over 15 years, ATN has delivered exceptional staff for our trade show marketing clients.  We provide experienced teams who will generate booth traffic, engage attendees, and elevate brand presence at any type of trade show, conference, or convention.  To learn more about our staffing solutions, click below to contact a member of our client-services team.  

Need Event Staff?  ATN Has You Covered.