Article Written By Samantha Heyden

When meeting with clients during display solution discovery sessions the topic of booth promotional activities or at-show promotions often comes up.  Like most things, at-show promotions are most effective when tailored to a specific client, brand, show or message. Here are some tips that will help you when planning your at-show promotions.

Your Trade Show Promotion should Tie In with the Rest of Your Trade Show Messages

Before you start brainstorming your promotional ideas keep in mind that consistency in all of your trade show messaging increases attraction, retention and memorability and should help with the overall qualification of your leads and prospects.

So please consider whether or not you can create a promotion that reflects the key messages you are trying to communicate at your show. Some simple examples:

  • If you are promoting a unique product or service would  your promotion be considered by others as unique
  • Is your key message quality – would your promotions or giveaways be considered quality by others

Where to look for promotional ideas:

I could provide you a list of the most popular promotional products, on-booth entertainment or competitions but these lists tend to outline fads or the standard staples of any trade show like pens or mouse pads.  Instead I would suggest that you look around and see what others are doing well, tailor it to your needs and do it even better! Some places to look include:

Attend Trade Shows and other Events. Attend events both in and outside your industry to see what others are doing and how they are doing it.

Social Media. With the increasing popularity of social media into marketing plans there are so many organisations creating promotions to increase their likes, followers and overall exposure across various Social Media channels.  Take a look at these promotions and think how they could work for you in a Trade Show environment.

The oldies… I am talking about Radio, Television and Print. They have been around for a long time; there is conjecture as to whether they will survive the digital age regardless, they are still a great place to look for competition ideas for your next trade show.

Retail. The next time you go shopping keep your eyes open particularly towards the aisles in a shopping centre where companies take casual leasing space.  These “exhibitors” often have a tough audience to try and attract and have to think of unique ways to draw people in (sound familiar). Maybe you will find something here that would suit your organisation at your next Trade Show.

Promote! Promote! Promote!

In my experience the most successful Trade Show promotions are the ones that are well thought out, reflect the overall messaging of the company in question and are leveraged and promoted to hilt. What do I mean? 

Promote your Trade Show presence and promotion before your show, at your show and after your show.  Here’s some ideas:

  • Use Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and other social media to announce your Show Promotion before the event, remind them of your Promotion during the event and outline the results or outcome of your promotion after your event.
  • Outline and promote your trade show presence and promotion in mailers or brochures pre-show, at-show, after-show.
  • Promote your trade show presence and promotion on your website. Don’t forget to post photos and comments after the event too!

Do you want to learn more practical promotional strategies to make you a more effective and profitable exhibitor. Attend the Eye Power Plus seminar next Thursday, 18th April 2013. For more information email

About the Author: Sam has worked with Skyline since 2002, during this time she has been responsible for developing the marketing strategies, branding and event programs for Skyline throughout Australia. In recent years, working alongside the Skyline Displays Australia Project Management Team she has also been actively involved with assisting Clients in meeting their event marketing objectives and return–on–investment.

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