Trade show marketing tips to make a lasting impression

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

A trade show is one of the best places to market your small business. You get a stand or table to showcase your products or services (along with plenty of branded signage), and you get to interact with potential customers who are already interested in your industry. Whether you’re hoping to generate new memberships, spread the word about a new offering or simply build awareness for your brand, use these trade show marketing tips to connect with more people at your next event.

1. Business cards

Make your business card work even harder at your next trade show with a QR code. Ask potential customers to scan the code so you can easily, quickly collect their contact information. This will make it easy to follow up with them even after the show is over. And when the trade show *is* over, update the website your business card links to with a special message. This is a great place to thank them for visiting your booth – along with a special promotion or incentive.

2. Social media templates

Social media is one of the best places to spread the word about your next trade show or event. During the trade show, stay active on your social channels — document the behind-the-scenes process of setting up your stand, encourage visitors to post about your business or use a special hashtag or incentivise passers-by to follow you with a special offer. And once the event is over, go through your photos and choose which ones you want to post. You can create a carousel for Facebook, a video for TikTok, an animation for Facebook and so much more! Creating social content and engaging with your new followers will help you stay connected long after the trade show ends.

VistaPrint Tip

Whether you want to market your next event on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube, you can easily design posts for your favourite social platform with VistaCreate. Start with a template, then add your brand colours, eye-catching animations, photo filters and more.

3. Postcards

When you’re finishing up a conversation with a trade show passer-by, hand them a postcard to take with them. Make sure it includes your logo, social handles and any other key information — try including a special offer or promotional code to encourage them to hang onto it. And once your event is over, stay top of mind with a postcard or email. Send one to everyone who signed up for your mailing list — go the extra mile and add a personalised note if you chatted about something special with them.

Tips for getting even more from your next event

Make your setup stand out.

In a sea of trade show stands, how can you set yours apart? Beyond decking it out with branded signage, get creative with a multimedia display or special guest demo. Let people try out your high-tech equipment, offer them a free sample or give them a sneak peek of a new product launch.

VistaPrint Tip

If you’re planning on offering free demos or hosting an expert at your stand, share the details with trade show-goers ahead of time so they can plan their trade show visit accordingly.

Bring plenty of swag.

When people go to trade shows, they expect to leave with some freebies. Whether a tote bag, a pen or a magnet, bring plenty of low-cost, useful items to give to curious passers-by. The tote bag can help build awareness for your brand while they’re exploring the rest of the show…and later when they’re hitting the local supermarket. Plus, everyone could always use an extra pen or magnet — and when they reach for it in the coming weeks, they’ll be reminded of you and your business.

Run a giveaway.

Get potential customers excited (and collect their contact information!) with a giveaway. A raffle is a great way to help you stand out from the crowd, and you’ll build excitement among your visitors. You can give away a higher-value promotional item with your logo on it, or raffle off a free product, service or demonstration.

Wear your brand.

Build credibility for yourself, your employees and your small business with a uniform look. Whether you go for T-shirts or printed polo shirts, coordinating branded clothing can go a long way in building a professional image.

Everything you need to stand out at your trade show

  1. Business cards
  2. Social media templates
  3. Postcards
  4. A stand-out stand
  1. Branded swag
  2. A great giveaway
  3. Clothing with your business logo