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Pre-Event Planning for Trade Shows: Five Tips


By Allegra - Helena

trade shows

It’s no secret that participating in trade shows, conferences and other events can be a great way to increase brand awareness, improve product knowledge through hands-on demonstrations and, ultimately, drive more sales.

In fact, a 2014 EventTrack study by the Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic reports that more dollars are being devoted to experiential marketing – an average 5% budget increase for survey respondents.

So whether you’re a long-time event marketer or a first-time exhibitor, how can you make the most of your investment? Be prepared! Here are five tips on pre-event planning:

  1. Promote, promote and promote some more! Do everything you can to reach a broader audience and pull more prospects to your trade show booth. Notify everyone on your mailing list and email list. Feature the event prominently on your website or create a splash page especially for it. Distribute press releases to preferred media outlets.
  2. Employ the incredible power of social media. The EMI/Mosaic survey revealed that 77% of marketers connect with consumers via social media before an event. You should, too. On Facebook and elsewhere, promote your event, encourage your targets to register – and urge them to spread the word to like-minded colleagues.
  3. Invite a new group of prospects via direct mail. Go beyond those on your internal database by renting a mailing list of others who fit your target profile. There’s no shortage of opportunity. At last count there were no fewer than 65,000 individual databases – most of which can be sliced, diced and otherwise segmented to truly pinpoint your most promising prospects!
  4. “Uh, when was that event again?” (Remind them!) Shortly beforehand, reach out to all of your invitees with an inexpensive, save-the-date postcard mailing. Emails and e-cards are, of course, other cost-effective reminder options.
  5. Take stock of your display, materials and giveaways. All of the measures mentioned above won’t help if visitors walk away unimpressed by your presentation … or unable to recall you afterwards. So use the occasion to reorder what you need – or refresh what might seem tired and outdated.

Need assistance with your trade show planning – including mail, displays, marketing materials and promotional products? Just ask. We’re your local, full-service resource for all these services—and more.