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Promotional Products > Promotional Marketing > How To Guides

How to Improve Your Trade Show Engagement

You’ve decided to attend an upcoming industry trade show that fits your marketing objectives. You’ve got it all lined up and you know exactly what kind of foot traffic you want to attract. Before you sign up as an exhibitor, ask yourself — how did your last trade show go? Did you leave the event with fewer leads and less engagement than you’d hoped?

If you’ve logged underwhelming performance at previous trade shows, it’s time to turn the tide with these uncomplicated and effective trade show booth ideas. Build your promotional plans around these fundamental ideas to have attendees crowding around your booth.

Go Bold With Your Booth

Your booth, table covers, and any signage you bring are your prospective client’s first impression. Don’t pack up the same signage and promotional banners to every trade show — instead, choose innovative and eye-catching designs that will draw the crowd over to your booth while aligning with the theme of the trade show. 

Your staff should be as bold as your booth. Train the people representing your company to be friendly, professional, and knowledgeable about your products and services. Help them prepare to start conversations that will advocate for your unique offerings.

Attract More Foot Traffic

Depending on the size of your business, your marketing budget can vary dramatically. If you are fortunate enough to have a large footprint at the event, it’s tempting to design a contained, walled-off booth to create the sense of “exclusive” space. However as Sharon Leicham, a Merchandising Editor, explained at an outdoor retailer trade show, the walls and banners that border your trade show booth should not destroy eye lines or obscure the promotional displays and products in your booth.

Actively invite attendees in with product displays designed to generate leads. Have some extra space? Provide comforting snacks and ample seating to mimic the feeling of a cozy home or a casual office break room. In this environment, attendees are more likely to engage you in conversation and let their guard down.

 

The Power of Promotional Products

 

Promotional products that are useful and thoughtful have a lasting influence on those who receive them, according to a recent study conducted by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI). Over 80% of people who receive promotional products hold onto them for several months, remember the advertiser, and went on to do business with them since receiving the product. Almost 50% of people keep promotional products for up to one year.


Design, order, and distribute custom trade show giveaways to generate more leads and create goodwill toward your brand in a crowded marketplace. Worried about the return on your investment? Trade show giveaways are among the most cost-effective forms of advertising, and if you order popular items like large tote bags or USB hubs, they will stay on the recipient’s desk or in their home to create hundreds of impressions.

 

Raffle Away Prizes and Give Thank You Gifts

 

Extend your brand's reach at the trade show by hosting raffles to give away more expensive branded prizes. Advertise your big-ticket prize, but require the winner to stop by your booth to claim it. 

To reach even more people, offer a budget-friendly freebie on-site just for entering your raffle. That way, even attendees who don’t “win” the raffle will go home with a reminder of your brand printed with your contact information. Whether it’s a tin of mints, Post-It® notes, or custom keychains, small giveaways can make a big difference when you get them into the right hands during a trade show.

Invest in smaller ”thank you” gifts to give attendees in exchange for watching a presentation or filling out a form. Trade show giveaways used as prizes increase your brand visibility while also making each recipient feel indebted to your brand.

Tailor your prizes and gifts based on your industry and your target audience. Some of our best-selling promotional products include technology accessories, health and safety items, writing instruments and calendars. Ready to improve your trade show engagement? Read our guide on what to do after your trade show and talk to a HALO Account Executive to make sure you choose the right custom trade show giveaways for your big day.

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