Standing Out From the Competition at Your Next Tradeshow

Tradeshow marketing presents a unique challenge to businesses looking to draw in potential new customers and get their name out. In a crowded and noisy environment it can be difficult to make a lasting impression on anyone who is simply shuffling past your booth. However, there are steps you can take to stand out among the competition by focusing on what’s truly important to your customers.


  1. Bring People In – Trade shows and expos aim to cram a ton of information into very little time and space. It can be overwhelming to attendees who are caught up in the wave of people pushing from one booth to the next, searching for the next big thing. One way to stand out among competitors is to create a calm and safe space that draws people in. Set up your booth so that displays take people out of the common walkway and bring them closer to you. This will help them relax and feel comfortable while browsing your materials and give them an opportunity to ask direct questions and get answers without feeling the stream of people pushing them onward in the background. Layout is everything.
  2. Choose a Product or Service – Knowing your audience is key here. No matter what type of trade show it is, you can certainly hone in on the target demographic and figure out which product or service you offer is most relevant to them. Get into the details. Impress the attendees with your knowledge and understanding of a topic they care about. Just providing a list of everything you have ever done is not enough to make them trust you or want more information. Create targeted tradeshow marketing materials that highlight one or two specific things that attendees can latch onto without overwhelming them or being too vague to gain interest.
  3. Think About Follow Up – Find a system for gathering contact information from potential customers. Don’t worry about making a large sale today, or even a small sale. Tradeshow attendees are being buffeted by a series of grand displays and new products, but they are still resilient to actually making purchases in the moment. Afterall, they want time to get quotes for services, and they certainly don’t want to be carrying around an ever growing bag of products all day long. Instead, give them an opportunity to leave their contact information. Let them drop their business cards in a bowl. Offer them more information at a later date when they are not as tired or burnt out, either through email marketing or one on one consultations at their convenience. This type of tradeshow marketing extends beyond the immediacy of the event itself and sets you up for long-term sales.


Tradeshow marketing requires a strategy that is not entirely dependent on making a single sale at the main event. Rather, effective tradeshow booths are a tool that leads to the creation of long term customer relationships based on truly individualized customer care that meets their needs. Use your tradeshow booth to draw customers in and create a welcoming environment to create inbound leads, rather than pushing yourself on passersby with flashy displays that don’t provide real value to the customer.