Help! We Have a Trade Show Coming Up!

Help! We Have a Trade Show Coming Up!
Kate Headen Waddell - Thu Aug 27, 2009 @ 04:34AM
Comments: 19

I do a lot of work with start-ups and so I run into this issue a lot. They either have aCollateral Conundrum limited amount of time, money, or both, but suddenly have a trade show coming up and they need something to give to prospects. Or they simply need to start creating marketing materials, and don’t know where to begin.

The following is a step-by step guide for creating customer-facing marketing collateral for that impending trade show:

1. Website: It seems almost too obvious to mention, but the website is the place to start. If you already have a website, you need to look at it critically. Is it customer focused, professionally designed, and easy to navigate – or was it hastily thrown together just to “get something out there?” I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have an inviting and informative website. After all – you are hoping all those trade show attendees will eagerly check you out after the show – don’t turn them off before they get started.

2. Company and product /service literature: For those on a very tight budget, a two-sided sales slick with an overview of company offerings and a boilerplate about the company can be a suitable amount of information to hand out to overwhelmed trade show attendees. For those with complex offerings and a larger budget, a series of two-sided solution/product briefs tucked into a well-designed folder along with a one page company overview and a business card will do the trick nicely.

3. In-depth research and information: If there’s still time (and budget), the next step on the collateral ladder is creating information-rich documents that take the prospect further down the sales cycle. These include white papers, case studies, and relevant third-party research. Case studies are particularly helpful when prospects might have a hard time envisioning how a solution will be implemented and what they can expect from it. White papers are great tools for establishing thought leadership and providing in-depth information on the benefits of your solution. But don't go packing those up for the show just yet...

Don’t forget your hook

Collateral alone is not enough to make sales. You need to have a strategy for how to use it. What can you offer the prospect that they would deem valuable enough to give you a chance to win their business? What you come up with will depend on your product, your market, and your prospects.

If you have developed white papers and case studies, don’t just freely hand them out – offer to send them via email to prospects who request it. When you don’t have a white paper to offer, you can get a little more creative. As an example, a client of mine (who didn’t have time to revamp any collateral before the trade show) recently offered green energy show attendees a free initial assessment of whether their property was even an appropriate candidate for solar or wind energy. Because they were offering something of real value to the prospect, they had a very high sign-up rate.

Related Articles:

Heather Rubesch – Don’t get lost in the crowd at your next trade show

Michele Linn – Need Content? 20 Formats to Consider

What are your must-haves for the trade show? Do you have a no-fail hook you’d like to share?

Comments: 19


1. Werbeartikel  |  my website   |   Tue Jan 12, 2010 @ 01:07AM

Great post, point 2 is especially important - too many people turn up with only enough brochures for one day out of a three day trade show!

2. Beth   |   Mon Jun 21, 2010 @ 05:31AM

All good points considering we have our first trade show coming up soon and we are short on knowledge.

3. b2b marketing  |  my website   |   Mon Jul 11, 2011 @ 05:49AM

Thanking you step-by step guide for creating customer-facing marketing. nice post, i will try this.

4. regalos de empresa  |  my website   |   Fri Oct 21, 2011 @ 09:43AM

I think all those point are necessary but in those days digital promotion too.

it has to be included, as the new generation is coming up

5. antonio  |  my website   |   Wed Apr 11, 2012 @ 11:46AM

Great post, point 2 is especially important

6. Martin   |   Wed Aug 20, 2014 @ 05:56AM

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11. regalos publicitarios  |  my website   |   Tue Aug 04, 2015 @ 02:59AM

Hello, Great post, point 3 is especially important, very good information, thanks

12. juegos   |   Sun Sep 06, 2015 @ 07:04AM
Hello, Great post, point 3 is especially important, very good information, thanks

13. zimzam   |   Sat Sep 19, 2015 @ 06:59AM
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Hello, Great post, point 3 is especially important, very good information, thanks

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16. edfr   |   Wed Jan 06, 2016 @ 02:13AM
17. deay   |   Mon May 16, 2016 @ 03:15AM
18. Regalos de Empresa  |  my website   |   Wed Aug 03, 2016 @ 10:17AM

I believe that the hook is etremely important when having to atract people to your booth. I will advise to use attractive promotinal items with a hgh perceived value like usb memories or powerbanks, or funny products like stress balls or personalised sunglasses.

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