What is Trade Show Marketing? All You Need to Know

Hamilton Hamilton

Trade shows are excellent opportunities for businesses, fans, and other industry professionals to make meaningful connections. The events draw in hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of interested attendees. Brands with a practical approach to marketing for trade shows can create buzz, build brand awareness, and generate valuable leads. This guide defines trade show marketing, presents reasons to attend trade shows, and discusses tips for marketing success. 

What is trade show marketing?

Trade show marketing presents and promotes products and services at a large-scale, industry-specific event. Trade show marketing can also include pre- and post-show promotions to extend excitement beyond the event's time frame. 


Why attend trade shows?

Trade shows are popular and for a good reason. Here are several benefits brands can gain from attending trade shows. 

Boost Brand Awareness

Trade shows provide a space for brands to gain exposure and connect with industry contacts. Brands can introduce products or services to an audience genuinely interested in your offerings. 

Converse with Your Customers

At trade shows, brands can speak face-to-face with customers and make meaningful connections. Conversations can result in customer feedback and first-hand audience requests. 

Meet other Supplier Partners

Trade shows are more complex than simply rising above the competition, as they also help build industry connections. Industry experts and businesses heavily attend these large-scale events, and your company may benefit from the services offered by another vendor. 

Generate Leads

Everyone who attends a trade show is a potential lead. Make the most of this opportunity and connect with people who could grow your business. 


How to do Event Marketing for Trade Shows

It is ideal to have a strong marketing strategy to promote your brand at trade shows successfully. Here are some critical steps to jumpstart your trade show marketing strategy: 

Set SMART Goals 

Many brands attend trade shows to boost sales, meet vendors, and generate leads. When writing your company's goals, make each point specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely so your progress is trackable for the following evaluation. 

Identify Your Purpose

Trade shows can help announce new products, rebrand, or generate buzz. Identify your brand’s reason for attending the trade show, as this may differ from your brand's goals for the event. 

Choose the Right Trade Show

Attending the right trade show is key to success. Research and select a trade show related to your product or service that is attractive to your target audience. Confirm that the trade show dates align with your overall business plan. 

Connect with your Audience

Marketing is all about making connections. Create advertisements, emails, social media posts, invitations, displays, and programming that is attractive to your audience. Personalize the experience showing your fans that your brand cares about them. 

Follow Up

You must follow up when you make meaningful connections and generate valuable leads. Keep the conversations going and convert interested visitors into customers. 


Tips for Successful Trade Show Marketing

Here are three ways you can increase the success of your trade show marketing efforts: 

Program Pre/During/Post-Show Marketing

Brands often miss valuable marketing opportunities because they focus more on marketing during the trade show. While the trade show is the main focus, marketing before and after the event can affect the quality of leads and quantity of sales. 

Integrate Digital and Hybrid Engagement Tools

These days, posters and brochures will not suffice. For successful trade show marketing, integrate digital and hybrid engagement tools. 

Consider HUB LIVE, a web app platform that facilitates engagement and content delivery, whether in-person, virtual, or hybrid. The touchless engagement solution is activated by a QR code and offers customizable design, colors, and branding. The features include interactive lead capture, showcase event information, content library, meeting schedule, gamification and education opportunities, hybrid audience support, and CRM platform and Google Analytics integration. HUB LIVE makes it easy for attendees to access relevant brand content and connect with sales representatives. 

Partner with an Experienced Event Marketer 

Trade show marketing requires expert skill and substantial time and effort. Instead of cutting corners, partner with an experienced event marketer who can help set your brand apart from the competition. 

Hamilton is a full-service event marketing agency with a 75-year legacy creating immersive brand experiences for companies throughout North America and around the world. We design, produce, and execute integrated experiences – exhibits, proprietary events and conferences, corporate environments, outdoor events, mobile tours, and digital solutions – that drive meaningful connections between your brand and your audience.

To take your trade show marketing to the next level, contact Hamilton today.