Enticing Your Exhibitors to Increase Attendance at Your Tradeshow













J. Kelly Hoey said that being successful is “realizing that to get where you’re going, you need to help others get to where they’re going. It’s based on the old adage that if they succeed, you succeed as well.

As a show manager, the same is true for you. If your exhibitors have the tools to create a successful and meaningful presentation, then you can celebrate with their triumph. The following recommendations will provide the incentive for exhibitors to promote the show. They benefit from these incentives and your trade show benefits through the exposure it will receive through their audiences.

Generate Buzz

Help your exhibitors establish a relationship with current and future clients by implementing a simple strategy by reaching out with incentives and a clear picture of who you are as a brand.


Give exhibitors a unique promotional code that they can send to their contacts. This code can be used for a discount off a ticket. Promotional codes can also be provided for complimentary tickets to the expo to established customers, with a set quantity limit. You can turn this into an incentive to your exhibitors as well. Exhibitors can distribute it’s complimentary tickets (that have their own code) and when registrations have been counted, the exhibitors with the most registrations are awarded prizes.

Send out swag with purpose. Sometimes it’s the little things that go the extra mile, but when you can get those things to work to your advantage, it makes it worthwhile. The swag that tends to get the best reception are t-shirts, reusable water bottles, umbrellas or an item that can be used with the currents season, such as a beanie hat if it’s a Winter event, or a beach towel to be used during the hot Summer days. To gain extra exposure encourage customers to post their swag on social media, using provided hashtags. You can even add some fun by having a contest on with the most creative photo using the swag. Narrow down the contenders and have the public vote on their favorite with the winner receiving something special.

Incentives don’t have to be for buyers or partners only. Reward exhibitors with discounted booth space if they take part in multiple shows around the country. Allow exhibitors to earn a percentage of their sales tickets to use as a discount for the current show or for a future show.

Help exhibitors increase ticket sales with an affiliate program. Provide each affiliate with a ticket sale link as well as a unique link they can use to promote the event. This allows you to track their performance and sales.


A robust brand relies on potential customers having a clear awareness of what you are promoting at your trade show. A lack of brand awareness leads to slow sales and a lack of customer engagement. As a show manager, you can help your exhibitors reach their potential by encouraging them to create an effective promotional packet. A promotional packet is a collection of various information pertaining to a particular business. This information should be a clear representation of what defines the company. The packet can include the following information:

  1. A company profile, including company history.
  2. Product information and any services you provide.
  3. Any press or media articles about your business that have been published.
  4. Samples, if applicable.
  5. Logo art that successfully expresses your company.
  6. Product reviews.

It’s important to provide your exhibitors with a public relations strategy. Equip them with a press release template that has relevant information about the show and represents the exhibitors involvement. It should be easy to fill out and succinct. Expand your advertising coverage with the power of social media. Provide exhibitors with a press release template geared toward social media with accompanying artwork to link it all together.

Buyers should be able to connect to an exhibitor’s company with your show. Photos and all other visuals, such as logos and graphics should be well integrated with the event.

Take Away

Establishing a relationship with your exhibitors and provide them with tools and resources that will help them succeed. If you work for their success, they can walk away with a firm foundation and you can walk away knowing that some of your best clients are the ones you’ve helped along the way.