Top Tactics for SMBs at Trade Shows

Best practices for SMBs at Trade Shows utilized by On-Target!

Here are some top tactics On-Target helps small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) execute to maximize their impact at trade shows:

Set Clear Objectives: Success requires a plan. A plan must have objectives. Define specific goals for your participation, such as lead generation, brand awareness, networking, or product launches.

Pre-Show Promotion: Don't wait and hope, be proactive about connecting pre-show. Utilize email campaigns, social media, and your website to inform existing and potential customers about your presence at the trade show. Offer incentives for visiting your booth. 


Engaging Booth Design: Consider how you will draw people into your space. Attendees will judge your company by your booth space. Make a great first impression. Create an attractive and inviting booth. Use banners, displays, and interactive elements to draw attention. Ensure your branding is prominent and clear. 




Interactive Demonstrations: Give attendees a reason to engage. Make it fun, and have tangible reasons for them to give you their attention. Offer live demos or interactive displays to showcase your products or services. Engage visitors with hands-on experiences.

Giveaways and Contests: People like winning. Free stuff is great, but it's worth more if they win it. Distribute branded merchandise or host contests to attract visitors and encourage them to engage with your booth.

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Staff Training
: This is THE most overlooked aspect of preparation. Too many companies misconceive that their team innately knows what to say. Ensure your booth staff are well-trained, knowledgeable about your products or services, and skilled in engaging and qualifying leads.

Networking: Attend and if possible sponsor networking events, seminars, and workshops associated with the trade show. Attendees are much more at ease and likely to engage than on the exhibit floor. Use these opportunities to connect with other businesses and potential customers.

Lead Collection and Follow-Up: Most trade shows have a digital scanner system in place for collecting leads, but have your own as well. Contests that collect business cards, or contact forms built into laptop displays are great options. MOST IMPORTANT: Follow up promptly after the show with personalized emails or calls. Prepare follow-up communications (Templates, Mailers, etc.) before the show. Write notes on business cards for personalized messages to ideal prospects. THIS IS WHY YOU WERE THERE!

Social Media Engagement: Use social media before, during, and after the show: promote the show beforehand, share live updates during the show: photos, and videos, and feature this content after the show for a few weeks afterward. Engage with attendees and other exhibitors using event hashtags.

Post-Show Analysis: Evaluate your performance after the trade show. Assess what worked well and identify areas for improvement. Use this analysis to refine your strategy for future events.

Helpful tool: Trade Show Preparation Checklist


Ready to take your Trade Show effort to the next level? Just ask On-Target!

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