Pre-Trade Show Marketing Ideas to Drive Traffic

Trade shows are valuable opportunities for businesses to showcase their products and services, network with other professionals in their industry, and generate leads.

However, to make the most out of your time at these events, you need to implement a pre trade show marketing strategy that is sure to draw attendees to your booth.

We are going to explore 13 effective pre trade show marketing ideas you can try to significantly impact your trade show success.

1. Start With Teaser Campaigns

You can easily create a sense of anticipation by launching teaser campaigns ahead of the trade show event.

Use social media, email marketing, and your website to share sneak peeks, hints about what’s coming, and even include a fun countdown to the event.

All of this will pique the interest of potential attendees.

Mobile phone on a tripod recording to people talking.

2. Email Marketing

Another way to engage potential attendees ahead of the event is by crafting a series of engaging and informative emails with a pre trade show email subject line.

You can send a personalized invitation to visit your booth at the trade show to your existing customers, prospects, and really anyone who has shown any interest in your products or services.

Make sure to include information about the location of your booth, exclusive offers you may have, and a compelling call to action.

3. Leverage Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool you can use to reach a much broader audience. You can create eye-catching visuals like graphics and videos that highlight what attendees can expect to see and experience in your trade show booth.

Use hashtags specific to the event and consider using paid ads to target trade show attendees.

Person typing on a laptop computer with the text 'book appointment' on the screen.

4. Meeting Scheduling Tools

Online meeting scheduling tools are great for allowing attendees to book appointments with your team during the trade show event. You can promote these scheduling options on your website and through your other marketing materials.

This can increase foot traffic and ensure you and your salespeople are more than prepared for every speaking interaction.

5. Utilize Event Apps

A lot of trade shows actually have official event apps.

You can maximize your presence on these apps by creating a compelling profile, sharing updates, promotions, giveaways, or presentations, and engaging with attendees through chat or notifications.

6. Special Attractions, Promotions, Giveaways, or Presentations

That brings us to creating buzz by promoting special activities at your trade show booth. Whether it’s a product demonstration, live presentation, or a fun contest with attractive prizes, you can use social media, your website, and email to build anticipation.

7. Get the Attendee List

If possible, try to get the attendee list in advance. Send personalized emails or direct mail to registered attendees to inform them about your booth and what they can expect when visiting.

8. Press Releases

Another effective marketing strategy is issuing a press release about your participation in the trade show.

Use your press release to emphasize what you will be showcasing and why it’s important for attendees. Share your press release on your website and through social media platforms.

Photo of a sign that reads 'welcome to the las vegas convention center'.

9. Content Marketing

When on the hunt for unique pre trade show marketing ideas, consider content marketing.

Write compelling blog posts and videos that are related to the theme of the event or that are on par with industry standards. You can then share this engaging content ahead of the event to establish more authority for your business while also attracting more attendees to your booth.

10. Landing Page on Your Website

A dedicated landing page on your website that has all the info related to your participation in the event can also be a great marketing strategy to employ.

Include all the information needed about your participation, like a map of your booth, schedule, and any promotions you will be running. This page acts as a central hub for your pre trade show marketing activities.

11. Pre-Show Podcasts

Want to really engage your existing customers while gaining a few new ones? Launch a series of podcast episodes leading up to the anticipated trade show event.

Invite industry leaders, experts, colleagues, and influencers to discuss relevant topics. You can then plug your booth as being a must-see at the event.

12. AR Business Cards

Ready to take your creativity to the next level? How about AR business cards?

Design augmented reality business cards that actually come to life when they are scanned in a mobile app. These interactive business cards provide a fun sneak peek into your products or services and can include a special message.

13. Community Engagement

Engaging with relevant industry forums, social media groups, or other online communities related to the trade show event is another way to get the word out ahead of the next trade show event.

Participate in discussions that you can use to answer questions and build your brand’s authority.

Final Thoughts

All of these unique pre trade show marketing ideas can really set your booth apart from the competition and create so much more excitement among attendees.

The key to these marketing strategies is being innovative, creative, and persistent. Tailor them to your target audience while also creating a memorable touchpoint.

Pre trade show marketing ideas not only drive traffic to your booth, but help you stand out against the competition. Remember, there are many booths vying for the attention of trade show attendees. The anticipation these marketing strategies create also make it more likely for attendees to plan their visit to your booth.

Finally, the ultimate goal of trade shows is to generate leads and drive business. These pre trade show ideas help you attract more attendees, increase your chances of collecting valuable contact information, and initiate sales conversations.

Be sure to have the right staff in place to respond to the foot traffic at your booth using our booth staff training guide.

Peter Frigeri

Horticulturist. Entrepreneur. Eco-adventurer. Peter Frigeri has been innovating in business since he moved to Las Vegas in 1991 to run trade show operations for Showtime Florists. Just a couple years later, he went out on his own, founding Falcon Floral, and within five years, he evolved that business into Expo Ease. In 2000 he took advantage of technological innovations to expand his company to offer a full suite of event services, from show decor to photography marketing. Meanwhile, in 2009, Peter launched his third business, Gaia Flowers Plants Gifts. With a focus on local and sustainably-grown products, Gaia is also a full-service company, with services ranging from event floral, delivery to commercial plant maintenance. And as if that weren’t enough, Peter is an officer on the boards of two local nonprofits, Great Basin Permaculture and Friends of Gold Butte. In both his personal and professional lives, Peter does everything he can to fight for the preservation of the Earth and its resources, so that his children and grandchildren can enjoy its bounty as much as he does.

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