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#1 Tip for Tradeshow Success

If you are like many manufacturers I know, you are busy preparing for CPP Expo, Drupa, Labelexpo Americas, Pack Expo, ICE Asia and/or others. If so, there is one thing that I would urge you to consider before getting to the show floor… 


“What will your visitors experience while visiting your booth?”


Participating in a tradeshow is one of the most expensive marketing and sales investments we incur, and yet it boggles my mind that so many exhibitors have the “build-it-and-they-will-come” mentality. 


Give your booth visitors a memorable experience that connects with your company’s products and services. You can do this by engaging your customer with a low-risk, possibly fun activity that creates an opportunity to discuss your featured products and services. Some ideas that have been successful in the past have been…

  1. Give visitors a T-Shirt/Hat/Tumbler in exchange for watching your new product demonstrations. It takes them 2 minutes to get exposure to what you do and then you collect their information for follow-up (if they are real prospects, they will stop and talk… if not, you need to mark them as “not a prospect” so you don’t waste your time in following-up). 
  2. Hire a ‘personality’ to pull people into your booth. I hired a very talented shoe shiner in Montreal that got the prospects talking about their business while in the chair. It was a slow show and he did a good job of pulling in some business. Professional talent (models) that have the right approach can be a wonderful attraction to your booth; however, make sure you see how they engage with customers before hiring ‘blind’ since they do represent your brand on the show floor.
  3. Give visitors a game they can win, but tie that game into what you are promoting. For example, Green Bay Packaging used to tie football into their booth and made an excellent environment with a toss and popcorn! I’ve seen darts used to demonstrate how market research targets your investment.


Provide your customers an engaging reason to be in your booth, and make sure your activity or ‘theme’ is easy to understand and ties in with your offering. This one tip will help significantly to maximize your trade show investment… simply by considering your visitor’s experience.




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