Anyone who has executed a trade show will tell you that there’s a lot of planning that goes into pulling off a successful show. And whether you’re preparing for your first-ever trade show exhibit or you’re a veteran vendor, there are a few things you can do to ensure your trade show exhibit success. 


A trade show is a great opportunity for you to share the value of your products and services with your ideal customers. And like most marketing efforts, participating in a trade show is an investment. So naturally, you’ll want to do all you can to ensure your business has a successful trade show experience. So let’s take a look at what you can do to have a successful trade show exhibit.

1. Know your goals & objectives

It’s important to narrow in on and review your business goals and objectives. Brand awareness, lead generation and relationship building are the top three goals for exhibitors, and those might be your goals, too. Your goals will offer you guidance in designing your trade show display and selecting the right trade show for your business.

2. Exhibit at the right shows

There are many shows yearly. Some are smaller, hyper-targeted events while others offer a larger, broader audience. And as we mentioned before, knowing your business and marketing goals will help you select the right shows for your business. But you’ll also want to do your research. Get a sense of the larger shows in your industry as well as the smaller, hyper-targeted events. Find out where your competition exhibits and determine which shows your ideal customers attend. Bonus tip: sign up early to save money and secure the best booth location.

3. Design a trade show exhibit that targets your ideal customer

Once again, knowing your goals and objectives will pay off here. In fact, your trade show booth should reflect your goals and objectives. For demos, you might want to consider adding several small areas to your booth. If one of your goals is brand awareness, you may need space for a presentation complete with a stage and plenty of seating. If you work with a full-service exhibit house like Godfrey Group, we help ensure that your trade show exhibit helps you reach your goals.

4. Attract & engage

Trade shows are not a Field of Dreams situation. Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. You need to attract the audience and engage with them. Give your ideal customers a reason to visit your booth and better yet--give them a reason to remember your business. You only have a few moments to capture their attention, so consider the following: 

  • Charging stations
  • Games or contests
  • Giveaways
  • An in-booth presentation
  • Product demonstrations
  • Refreshments
  • Informative entertainment

What’s the payoff of this effort? A booth full of potential buyers. Don’t waste the opportunity. Make sure your staff is well-trained to educate the visitor about your business and see to it that they’re prepared to properly capture the leads.

5. Follow up

This step is such an integral part of trade show marketing, but it often gets overlooked. Your follow-up strategy should be well planned out before the show even begins. You want to reach your prospects while your business is still fresh in their minds. Research shows (source: that 30-50% of sales go to the vendor who responds first. Be sure to follow up with your hot leads within 24-48 hours of the show.

6. Work with a full-service exhibit house

When you work with a full-service exhibit house like Godfrey Group, you get a trusted partner in your trade show marketing journey. We assist with installation and show services. Our staff is happy to handle some or all of your show preparation including the paperwork, freight, show service orders, logistics, and installation/dismantle at the show. We offer storage in our North Carolina shop/warehouse as well as a warehouse in Las Vegas. Let Godfrey Group partner with you to walk you through the process and take some of the work off of your plate.