The Keys to Trade Show Success [Infographic]

Keys to a successful trade show
“Yay! It’s the first day of the trade show and we all managed to get here before 12:45….gooooo TEAM!”

There are a lot of factors that can influence the level of success you have at a trade show. I’ve already had a look at some unique and enticing freebies you can give away to lure people to your stand, as well as some simple ideas you can use to increase footfall at your next trade show, but there are some general ideas you need to be aware of if you really want to have a successful trade show.

Thankfully, the lovely people at BrandMe have made this even easier for us all (especially me), as they’ve created an infographic that highlights the “Keys to success at a trade show” – simple ideas virtually anyone can implement to help them have more successful trade shows.

Here’s the infographic and I’ll follow up afterwards with a few thoughts of my own.

Success at a Trade Show
With this handy infographic, BrandMe explain the key to effective marketing at trade shows is to use more than one approach (here’s a link to the original image).

A fabulously simple infographic, and one which really highlights the main point – that all these different ideas fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.

It’s not a gimmick, it’s an approach. It should reflect who you are.

Here are some of the main highlights for me from the infographic:

Don’t forget to follow up!

It’s OK having a great hook on your stand to draw attendees over, so that you can scan their badges and get their details (I wonder how that will change, post GDPR? Will we have to read our privacy policy aloud, like some kind of royal proclamation?), but the real key to making connections is in the follow up. What are you going to do with their information? Did you find out more than their email address? Did you discover what industry they work in, what problems they face and what their goals are so that you can work out how to best help them?

Before you go to a trade show, have a system in place for how you are going to process the leads you receive and you’ll maximise your investment

Network, network, network!

Trade shows are seen by some as a bit of a holiday. A chance to get out of the office for a few days. You’ve probably seen this before, as you walk past stands where sales reps are just sat on a chair, playing on their phone (FYI – holding it in landscape mode is a big giveaway, as is you yelling out “GOOOOOOAAALLLL!”).

Trade shows and exhibitions offer so much opportunity for networking, far beyond the scope of just trying to make eye contact with people who walk past your stand. Here’s just a few:

  • You can go and actively introduce yourself to the other stands
  • You can join in some of the break out sessions,
  • Introduce yourself to the speakers or moderators of the event, asking them who the best person is you could possibly meet here.
  • You could even have a sit-down space on your own stand, giving attendees a place to relax and recharge (their phones!).

There are a lot of connection opportunities available at a trade show and if you’re sat on a chair, just waiting for it to walk past, you’re missing out.


Yes, it’s a cheap way to get footfall, but everyone loves a freebie, right? I’ve already posted about the various types of trade show giveaways and freebies on the blog, but try to have something that is genuinely of worth; something that is a break from the norm. Something that attendees will comment on and bring other people to see.

A magician is a fabulous idea! I can’t believe I never thought of that! 😉

Use Social Media

Most trade shows have their own personal hashtag, so, before you go, make sure you know what it is. Have a think about some ideas you can use on social media to interact with attendees, speakers and events.

Despite the spontaneous nature of social media, you can plan these things in advance.

Take lots of photos, but not just of your own stand and staff. Snap anything you find that is useful, different, entertaining, enlightening, or just plain weird (but in a good way!).

Remember, it’s not just about you.

Make positive posts, tagging others where appropriate.

You could also create games, leaving prizes or giveaways in strange locations at the venue, sending people on a treasure hunt, or tease your new product announcement.

As with all social media, make it genuinely useful and/or entertaining, and you’re on to a winner!

f you’d like to read some more blog posts on how to get the most from trade shows, you can click here and see some!

I’d be doing you (and me…but mostly me) a massive disservice if I didn’t mention that magicians are an excellent way of drawing a crowd to your trade show stand. Not only that, but we can also help qualify leads as we interact with your guests. Not only can I get tour attendees laughing, I can help filter out the good prospects from the bad.

“Thanks for bringing to life what we do right in front of people’s eyes! You really struck the perfect balance on the stand and made the show a big success for us.” – Hydro 66

If you’re attending a trade show in the near future, why not send me an email, or use the contact form below and tell me all about what you’ve got planned. I’ll be happy to share some ideas on how I can best be of help to you!