Trade Shows

Trade Shows

Firsthand tips and tactics from trade show veterans to help you maximize your impact

Trade Shows
In-Person Events

Kera Wright’s playbook to trade show success

Mins Read
Kera Wright

Kera Wright outlines key strategies for maximizing trade show impact, focusing on thoughtful planning, engagement, and follow-up to drive brand success.

As someone who's navigated the complexities of trade shows across various industries, I've learned that success doesn't come from the flashiest booth or the biggest budget. It's about strategic planning, meaningful engagement, and meticulous follow-up. Here’s my distilled guide for fellow event marketers who are ready to cut through the noise and make their next trade show a strategic win for their brand.

Strategic selection & goal setting

The foundation of any successful trade show strategy begins long before the event itself. It starts with a clear understanding of why you're attending. Are you looking to generate leads, increase brand awareness, or establish thought leadership? This clarity will guide your decisions on which trade shows to invest in and how to measure your success. I always recommend digging into past event feedback and analyzing the attendee demographics to ensure a good fit for your objectives.

Pre-event sales collaboration

Your sales team is crucial to your trade show success. That's why I advocate for a close collaboration with them well before the event. I recommend scheduling a regular cadence of meetings with your sales team ahead of the event to discuss everything from our lead capture strategy to our follow-up plan. 

I also like to keep all information about the event in a singular "source of truth" document. Making sure your team knows where to find information and has an outlet for discussing and working toward goals ensures that everyone is aligned and maximizes our potential for success at the trade show.

Booth design & swag strategy

In my experience, the most effective booths are those that focus on engaging the audience in a meaningful way. This doesn’t necessarily mean having the most extravagant giveaways or an overly elaborate design. Instead, it's about choosing swag that resonates with your target audience and designing a booth that facilitates interaction and showcases your brand's story. Sometimes, the most straightforward approach can be the most memorable.

Executive engagement

Having your executives on the trade show floor can be a game-changer, but it's all about using their time wisely. I’ve found that their presence is most impactful in specific scenarios, such as speaking opportunities, high-level networking events or targeted meetings. It’s about strategically leveraging their authority and influence to enhance your brand's presence and forge meaningful connections.

Post-event follow-up & success measurement

The work doesn’t end when the trade show does. Immediate and personalized follow-up with the leads you’ve gathered is just the start. Equally important is taking a step back to evaluate the event's success against your initial goals. I like to combine both qualitative feedback and quantitative data to get a full picture of our performance. Holding a post-mortem meeting with the sales team and other stakeholders is also a key part of my process, allowing us to refine our approach for future events.

Reflecting on these strategies, it's clear that the true value of trade shows lies not just in the leads we capture or the deals we close, but in the deeper understanding we gain about our market, our audience, and ourselves. Each event is a learning opportunity, a chance to refine our approach and better connect with those we aim to serve. It's this continuous cycle of learning, adapting, and engaging that drives real, lasting success in the trade show arena and beyond.

Follow me on LinkedIn for more trade show and event marketing tips. And if you need some extra help to make your events a success, you can learn more about Planner Pal at (coming soon).

Written by Kera Wright, Founder, Planner Pal

Trade Shows
In-Person Events

12 trade show booth ideas to win the crowd

Mins Read
Aleksandra Petrash

Participating in a trade show? Make your booth stand out with these proven crowd-pleasers

Stepping into a trade show can feel like wandering into a bustling bazaar where every stall is clamoring for your attention — all the lights, bold colors, and the relentless buzz of conversation.

In this high-energy arena, your booth isn't just a space to showcase your brand; it's your secret weapon to capture hearts and minds. 

Investing time and effort into your thoughtfully designed trade show booth goes beyond mere aesthetics; it's a strategic business move. A thoughtfully designed booth gives you a chance to make a strong first impression, generate leads, and build lasting relationships. 

So, let's dive into some killer booth ideas that'll make sure you're not just part of the crowd, but the one leading the parade!

1. Live webinars

Who needs a stage when you already have a booth? Leverage your booth space by hosting live webinars or presentations at scheduled times throughout the event. This interactive format allows you to attract visitors and start conversations, answer questions on the fly, and really connect with your audience. 

2. Interactive touch screens

Imagine having a giant tablet at your booth where folks can swipe, tap, and learn all about what you offer. It's a fun, tech-savvy way to let visitors dive deep into your world, exploring all the cool stuff you've got on their own.

3. Coffee bar

Who doesn't love a good cup of coffee, especially at the event? Offer a free coffee bar where attendees can grab a drink and take a little break. It's a warm, welcoming touch that can make your booth the go-to spot for a refresh.

4. Photo booth

Set up a photo booth, physical or virtual, with fun branded props. It's a great way for attendees to have a laugh and capture memories of the event. Plus, those photos are likely to get shared, giving your brand some extra visibility. 

A social wall with photo booth integration at #wsecuallstar23.

5. Spin the wheel

To spice things up,set up a prize wheel at your booth. Don’t let your swag go to waste, and let attendees spin to win various goodies. It's a fun, interactive way to draw people in and create a buzz around your booth.

6. Trivia game

Challenge attendees with a trivia game about your industry or product. It's a smart way to engage people while educating them about what you do. Plus, a little friendly competition never hurts!

Find more trade booth ideas in the Event Professional's Toolkit by! Discover a goldmine of event planning resources, including checklists, ready-to-use templates, guides, statistics and more. 

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7. Virtual Reality (VR) demos

Step into the future with VR demos at your booth! It's like taking attendees on a magical journey right from your spot, showing off your products or services in a whole new dimension. 

8. VIP lounge

Make your key guests feel extra special with a VIP lounge. It's a sweet spot where your important clients or partners can relax, chat, or network in style. Talk about rolling out the red carpet!

9. Name engraving

Offer a unique touch with a name engraving service. Whether it's on a pen, a notebook, or something even cooler, it's a personalized gift that attendees will cherish and remember you by.

10. Charging stations

Be the hero with charging stations at your booth. In today's world, a little battery boost is always welcome, and it gives visitors a reason to hang around and chat while they charge up.

11. Instagrammable moments

Create spots that are too cute or cool not to share. When attendees snap pics and share them on social media, it's like free advertising with a personal touch. 

12. Social media wall

Use interactive screens to showcase your products or services on a feed that also displays social media posts with the event's hashtag or posts from users and fans of your brand. 

© NETZSCH Pumps & Systems

At a trade show, where everyone's on the lookout for new connections and solutions, your booth can really make or break your game. It doesn't just pull in more people; it also boosts how people see your brand, making you look like the go-to expert in your field. Make sure you make the most of it!

Written by Aleksandra Petrash, Partnership Marketing Manager,

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