10 Items That Should Be On Your Trade Show Checklist!

10 Items That Should Be On Your Trade Show Checklist


Your last trade show was packed with attendees, but how many of them noticed your booth?

Each time an attendee walks by without stopping, that’s a loss for your company.

We’ve all seen long lines around the hottest booth at a trade show.

So what are they doing right?

Read on to learn what you need to have on your trade show checklist to bring in a crowd.

Low-Cost Trade Show Checklist

Don’t have a lot to spend on your first trade show? Exhibitors like you are getting clever with small budgets. Plus, these cost-effective solutions can help you stand out from a sea cookie cutter booths.

Don’t forget to put the following items on your low-cost trade show checklist:

You may also want to consider a wall projector that you can reuse for future trade shows.

1. Printed Trade Show Materials

While social media may hog the marketing limelight online, print marketing still rules in the trade show world.

This includes your business cards, pamphlets, brochures, catalogs, flyers, apparel and any other printed materials that brand your business.

Make sure everyone working at your booth has enough business cards and brochures available when networking on the floor.

Your potential customer should leave with something with your brand printed on it for promotional use. Aside from business cards and flyers you can brand your product launch with branded apparel for your employees and to give a few away to your visitors.

If the apparel item and t-shirt is a good quality your visitor will love wearing your brand for you and promote indirectly without having to think about it, that creates a marketing ripple effect.

The reason Mc Donalds, Coca Cola, and Nike are so recognizable is because of their logos. By branding your logo on most of the products that people will take with them you too can create a feeling of being omnipresence at your trade event.

The items below were printed for bright foods for their trade show at the Anaheim convention center for a natural product expo.

2. Freebies and Giveaways

Speaking of free stuff, you can’t have a trade show without a swag bag.

By giving out free bags with your logo printed on them, attendees can now use your tote bag or sport pack to carry their water bottle and other items around the trade show.

Printing on tote bags also helps you and your brand get around more at the trade show telling people subconsciously to look for your booth and brand.

85% of consumers are more likely to remember the name of a brand from a free promotional item.

Furthermore, those same consumers are more than twice as likely to derive a positive impression of that brand.

Don’t forget to add the following items to your trade show checklist:

You might also want to consider branded notebooks, coffee mugs, and smartphone accessories. You’ll also want to include these in your trade show swag bags. The Sport Pack images below were mockups for Bright Foods.

3. Banners and Backdrops

Banners and backdrops are the first thing trade show attendees notice. You want event-goers to make a beeline straight to your booth.

But how do you stand out?

First and foremost, you need an attractive background display with your logo or imagery of your product or a short line of text with your tag line.

Standing banners are great for displaying photos and bold text that explains what your products can do for your customers in a longer written form.

Ideally, you should use the same color scheme as your company’s brand to maintain consistency across all your marketing channels, from trade shows to social media.

Trade show materials you can use for your backdrop include 14 ft advertising flags, tension fabric backgrounds, 6ft standing displays, canopies, and panels.

4. Trade Show Lighting

Like retail, lighting plays a critical role in trade show marketing.

That’s why some exhibitors even use lighted neon signs for their trade show booths.

The wrong lighting or low lighting can instantly turn off an event-goer and make it difficult for them to see your products, so your trade show booth should incorporate functional illumination.

This means you need enough light for visitors to see and experience your products.

However, the atmosphere plays an important role as well.

Atmospheric lighting sets the tone — or the mood — for your booth.

For example, if you’re exhibiting a candle company, you may want to consider ‘glowing’ mood lighting.

5. Social Media Integration

Social media is a big player online, but it also serves an important purpose in trade show marketing.

More than 97% of consumers between the ages of 16 and 64 use at least one social media site per month and have at least three social media accounts under their belt.

Check out these social media statistics for 2018.

This is a marketing opportunity you don’t want to miss out on at your trade show, so make sure to use the following social media tips at your trade show.

Trade show checklist:

  • Include QR codes in your printed marketing materials
  • Document your trade show experience on social media
  • Use Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook to promote your event
  • Stream your booth live on Facebook, Youtube, IG, and Twitter
  • Engage with official event hashtags on Twitter

Encourage all your trade show booth employees to get in on the fun and tweet about their experiences throughout the day.

6. Engage on the Trade Show Floor

If you want to turn that trade show traffic into leads, then you’ll need to step out from behind the booth and engage.

This may feel daunting at first, but with the right tools at your disposal, it will be a lot easier.

If your brand already has a theme or mascot, great!

This is a wonderful way to get meandering trade show attendees to come to your booth. Plus, mascots are fun and put event-goers at ease with a smile. When people are smiling it’s easier to open up a conversation.

You may also want to consider hiring product demonstrators and models to mingle on the floor and bring in people to your booth for more information.

This is especially useful if your trade show product is a toy, food item, or an electronic gadget that needs to be demoed.

Product knowledge is really important here, so don’t work the floor unless you’re armed with business cards, free samples, and information.

7. Integrate Video into Your Booth

As video marketing continues its upswing, your trade show competitors are taking advantage. Now, it’s your turn.

More than 95% of consumers surveyed have watched an explainer video to learn more while over 80% of them take action.

A video is easier than reading a blog post since 20% of adults struggle with reading due to illiteracy according to the Washington Post.

With that said you can record an hour of video of your products and services and cut them up into bite size 1–2 minute clips that you can use to showcase your business.

Here are a few ways you can use video and your trade show booth:

  • Attach a flat-screen TV to your backdrop
  • Incorporate interactive touch-screens for booth visitors
  • Create a video that tells the story of your brand or how your product is used.

You can also upload these videos to your social media accounts and website to create a consistent marketing experience for consumers.

8. Outdoor Advertising

Trade show attendees aren’t just hanging out inside of the convention, they’re also mingling outside as well.

This is a great opportunity to attract visitors before they even step inside.

To convert more outside traffic, consider using bicycle or pedal cab advertisements, sign spinners, mascots promo models, 14ft flags, standing banners, and product demonstrators.

On a hot day, you may want to offer smoothie samples outside if your product is a new blender, food processor or protein shake supplement.

9. Turn Your Trade Show into a TV Show

Trade shows really give you a chance to go above and beyond with your creativity.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to turn your trade show booth into an interactive infomercial or TV show.

This is especially helpful for products that need a lot of demonstration.

If you are not comfortable demonstrating your product in front of people, you may want to use an actual chef, scientist or hire an actor to demonstrate your product and engage with attendees.

Study old infomercials to learn how these people introduced their product or how they hooked people into buying. You can learn a lot from infomercials on how they set up their sales pitch to a live crowd.

Granted, the people in the crowd were paid to ooh and awe but you can model your script based on these infomercials.

Plus, you can use the recorded footage as additional marketing material for your social media accounts.

10. Pre-Show Marketing Tips

Your marketing strategy doesn’t start and end with your trade show booth. You also need to perform pre-show marketing to drum up excitement for your exhibition.

Here are a few pre-show marketing tips for your trade show checklist:

  • Rehearse your Sales Pitch and Intro Multiple Times
  • Buy ads on FB, YouTube, Instagram
  • Book an appearance on a local news show or radio show
  • Advertise your exhibition to your email subscribers
  • Promote the event across all your social media channels for weeks

Use this time to confirm your promotional models and any other hired talent for your booth as well.

Planning makes perfect, so don’t forget to have a comprehensive trade show checklist by your side. Use this post to start planning your exhibition and don’t forget to write down any of your own creative ideas.

You want your trade show booth to convert walkers into buyers, so try these tips out before setting up your first trade show booth.

If you would like help on your tradeshow booth let us know! We can set you up with a backdrop, banners, t shirts and more. Let us know how we can help!

Check back often for more tips and tricks or contact us directly to learn more about our services.