In last week’s blog post, we discussed some of our best tips for success at a trade show. We wanted to touch on why and how to make the most of pre-show promotion, because it’s a very important aspect of success at a trade show.


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Why Pre-Show Promotion Matters

Pre-show promotion is a key way to get a baseline level of traffic at your exhibition booth. Think of the difference between going to the office cafeteria to meet up with your group of friends versus heading there by yourself and hoping to find someone to sit by. By having a core group of friends, you know you’ll already have people to sit by, and from there, it’ll be easier to get the attention of others through social proof.


Similarly, at a trade show, if there are people who already know you’re going to be there and actively seek you out, those people will make it obvious to others that your booth is worth checking out. Pre-show promotion also ensures that you’ll touch base with people who matter to your business while you’re all attending the same event.

3 Great Ways to Do Pre-Show Promotion

Now that we see some of the benefits of pre-show promotion, how do we actually do it? There are a few great strategies:

1) Email

One easy way to inform people about your attendance at an upcoming event is just to send out a mass email, or email blast, to your client list. Tell them your booth number and why it’s a can’t-miss event!


You should also consider changing your email signature to include this announcement, so all future emails will reinforce the message.

2) Social Media

Announce your plan to attend a trade show on the company’s social media accounts, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Do this a few times leading up to the event, and transition into more informative or hype-building posts about the event as it gets closer.


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One specific idea is to update your LinkedIn profile to include show information. You could also create a hashtag for your presence on Twitter. Pair these up with compelling reasons for fans and followers to attend, such as a contest, competition, giveaway, or exclusive announcement. Don’t forget to engage with your audience one-on-one through social media!

3) Get Other Departments Involved

Your marketing and sales teams should be aware of your trade show schedule and actively promote it to prospective clients and customers. That gives the company another opportunity to close some sales or get more qualified leads.


One other random tip: try checking into a location-based service like Facebook or Foursquare when you’re displaying at the trade show. This is one more opportunity to inform people about your presence at the event.


In the end, there really are a staggering variety of ways to spread the word about your business exhibition at a trade show. I challenge you to think up some original ideas and enjoy great success at your next event!


~Tony Johnson