Quick Guide to Pre-Show Marketing

It only takes three minutes to master your pre-show marketing strategy…

We’re back at it with another bitesize guide. Our goal is to make planning your exhibition as easy as possible.

If you’ve missed one, fear not! You can find the bitesize guides to the first five stages of planning an exhibition right here:

This guide will help you understand pre-show marketing. We’ll cover a range of tactics, a rough timeline and give you a few top tips. Before we get into it, click here to download your free exhibition planning tool! Or, if you want to become an expert you can download this free pre-show marketing calendar.

Don’t Blow your Budget

Setting your total budget should be prioritised early in the exhibition planning stages. Of course, you know this because you’ve been following this handy planning tool.

We suggest allocating around 6% of your exhibition budget to your pre-show marketing and promotional strategy. This might not seem like much, but many of the tactics we will cover in this bitesize guide won’t cost you a penny. Even with no budget, you can pull off an effective pre-show marketing campaign.

To make the most of the different options available to you, we recommend using a variety of owned and external media.

How to use your Owned Media for Pre-Show Marketing 

If you have a website, company blog or monthly newsletter then you already have a media platform to take advantage of. Small changes, such as changing your email footer, will inform people that interact with you about the event you are attending.

You can also write an article to share on your company blog or news page. Make sure you include the basic details such as the show, venue and your exhibition stand number. Include a strong call-to-action to encourage conversions. Something like: “Call us now to book a meeting with one of our representatives to discuss your free trial”.

Finally, you can make use of email marketing. The people on your database have already registered an interest in your business. They’d welcome news about your upcoming business event into their inbox.

How to use Social Media for Pre-Show Marketing

There is debate about whether social media is owned or earned so I have given it its own title.  As a business, you likely monitor several social media platforms as you see this as a great way to engage and interact with your audience. Make use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest when it comes to your pre-show marketing.

We suggest sharing updates about the show you are attending at least once a week, but this will depend on the platform. Make your updates exciting by creating graphics, sharing sneak peeks of your stand and using the event’s unique hashtag.

How to use External Media for your Pre-Show Marketing 

External media gives you access to a larger audience and can help increase brand awareness. Press releases are a great way to get your brand into local and industry-specific publications. Write a story about your business and upcoming exhibition then distribute it to journalists and editors.

You can also make use of traditional and digital advertising. This is a paid option, but a great way to spread your message to a large audience. You can utilise programmatic ads to target highly relevant individuals or radio, press and out-of-home to reach mass numbers. For more information on the paid advertising opportunities available click here.


This will all make much more sense to you once you’ve downloaded this pre-show marketing calendar. We recommend spending six weeks drumming up interest with a killer strategy. That gives you plenty of time to spread the word with your website, social media and email marketing. Plus you’ll have time to write and distribute a press release or book traditional advertising space.

Remember, you don’t have to follow the calendar step-by-step. Each business is unique in what they do and the customers that they target. If you think of something that works better for you that’s great. We’d love to hear about it!

If you think we’ve missed something important then let us know by emailing designteam@quadrant2design.com. And be sure to tag us in your social media updates so that we can engage with your pre-show marketing. Other than that, good luck spreading the word!

Author Bio | Natalka Antoniuk

Natalka is an exhibition blogger for Quadrant2Design who uses her industry expertise to teach business owners the benefits of the trade show floor. She has developed a unique insight into the world of exhibiting, having spent time working alongside exhibitors, event organisers and exhibition stand contractors.

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Written by Natalka Antoniuk