Attending a trade show is a great way to generate leads and increase awareness of your business within your industry.  But what is the best way to promote your business at a trade show and maximise the number of visitors you attract to your stand?  Here we explore the ways you optimise trade show promotion.

1. Do your research

Before you attend a trade show it is important to do your research. Determine which UK trade shows are appropriate for your business goals. Carefully evaluate the details of each trade show including; the number of businesses who exhibit, the average number of attendees, attendee demographics by job function, and so on. If possible, speak to businesses who have exhibited in previous years, and ask for their feedback and opinions about the event. Exhibiting at trade shows can be costly so, you need to research all the details and gauge which trade show will yield the highest return on investment.

busy trade show crowd

2. Have an eye-catching stand

This is probably the best way to draw attention to your business, investing in a really eye-catching stand will help you stand out from your competitors and attract visitors.  It’s no good to just take a couple of trade show banners and a branded tablecloth and think this will do, you need a proper exhibition stand to grab attention.  Some ways to maximise your exposure are:

  • Go tall – increasing the height of your stand can help get you noticed.
  • Add movement – a 360-degree rotating header will draw attention.
  • Use large graphics and fonts that can be read across the hall.
  • Don’t add too much text, it’ll look too busy.
  • Include AV equipment in your stand to run presentations or demos.
  • Clever use of lighting can draw attention to the parts of the stand you want visitors to focus on.

3. Pick a good booth location

Register early so that you can choose the best booth location.  You want to be in an area with high footfall, so locating near restaurants or toilets, at busy intersections or near the entrance can all be good positions to get maximum attention.  Locating near an industry leader who will draw the crowds can also be a good tactic for trade show promotion, as long as your stand isn’t going to pale into insignificance in comparison to theirs.

4. Promote your attendance before the trade show

Email your customers and prospects to let them know of your attendance at the trade show and try to arrange meetings if possible.  Use social media to advertise your attendance, you can link with the hashtag used by the trade show organiser to share content.  Not only is this great promotion for the event itself, but it’s the perfect way to let your own audience know that you’re participating and where they can find you.  Start following the event hashtag 2-4 weeks before the event even happens. Use the hashtag when posting content about how you’re excited to attend/participate in the event, and use the hashtag throughout the event so other attendees can easily see your content. You can also send out a press release promoting your attendance at the event and letting visitors know about any special attractions on your stand.

5. Run product demonstrations

Display your products if possible and show visitors how they work, maybe use the event as an opportunity to launch a new product or upgrade, this can really draw the crowds.  If you plan to launch a new product make sure you promote this before the event via your website, social media and email.

Dental Design Products at Dentistry Show 2019| Quadrant2Design Review

6. Hold a competition

Competition is a great way to gain leads, but make sure the prize is worth it.  When advertising your attendance at the trade show, ask attendees to visit your booth to submit their details and be entered into the prize draw. Choose a prize that relates to your business, products, or services; or a prize that has broad appeal to your current and potential customers, for example an iPad.

7. Promotional items

Branded giveaways make an incentive to visitors to come and visit your stand, everyone loves a freebie.  Try to come up with something, other than a pen, that people will use, maybe a mouse mat or reusable coffee cup.  Have a good supply of brochures and business cards on your stand to give out to visitors.  Use a bowl to collect the business cards of visitors interested in your products.

8. Network

A trade show is a perfect opportunity to talk to others within the industry about your business.  Get out there and promote your business by talking to your peers, you never know who might turn into a potential customer, partner or supplier.  If you’re intimidated by networking with others, doing sales pitches, and keeping the conversation going, it may be a good idea to attend local networking events in your area leading up to the trade show to get your people skills up to par. After all, you’re on a sales pitch.

Attending a trade show or even a virtual trade show can bring many benefits to a business in terms of lead generation, brand awareness and opportunity to network.  But in order for it to be a success and generate a good return on investment (ROI), it is necessary to fully take advantage of trade show promotion.  Hopefully, this has given you a few pointers.  For help planning your next trade show call us on 01202 723 500 or email


business people around large exhibition stand