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B2B Marketing for Trade Shows

B2B marketing can be extremely effective at trade shows. Surveys show that participating in trade shows is critical for increasing profits, making new business connections and creating successful partnerships. This article will discuss pre-show marketing and how to create buzz at the show.

The main reason trade show participation can be so successful is the target audience. Surveys show that 75% of the attendees are those with the authority to spend company money. Many are looking to develop new partnerships, find better and/or cheaper business solutions and make solid connections with their peers (and competitors). With that in mind, you should be able to make your next trade show a complete success! Here are a few things to consider to help you do just that.

Pre-Show Marketing
Pre-show marketing is a key factor to the success of B2B marketing at a trade show. The first step seems simple but it’s something most people don’t do.

After you have all the details of the show, you can begin letting your clients and prospects know about it. There are many ways this can be done. Phone calls, press releases, direct mail, emails are all effective tools. If you are given free passes to the even making sure some key clients get them is also a good strategy. One thing to keep in mind as you begin to do this… know the location of your booth. It is vital that you don’t make people search for you. Your job is to drive them directly to your location.

Once you determine your location and goals for the show, it’s time to make sure you maximize your visibility at the event as well. The more you participate in the trade show and events that surround it, the better. Ask about other ways your business can be highlighted, such as sponsorship or presentation opportunities. This time can also be used to get your promotional giveaways or trade show attractions ready. This may include a contest that you would want to publicize.

Creating Buzz at the Show
Being creative is the name of the game. Many companies use prize wheels or money machines to attract attention. While these can be effective and gain attraction, they can also be cost prohibitive.

It always seems that every booth at every trade show has some type of promotional giveaway, so how can you stand out? Think of ways your company can be unique and stay away from handing out the same old trinkets (pens, notepads, etc). Sure, they get people to stop by your booth, but do you want your foot traffic to simply grab the swag and move on?

Make sure your booth has an element of fun (remember, you’re trying to generate attention). Whether that is an exciting booth worker, a live presentation, or a live contest it is important that people find a reason to stop at your booth and stay for your message.

Also, think outside the box, so to speak. Your event or presentation doesn’t necessarily have to happen inside your booth. Just remember to get permission from the organizers of the event before you book the circus!

Ted Raymond is Vice President of Allegra Marketing & Print, a leading marketing company in Scottsdale, AZ, providing innovative services and products to clients since 1982. For more information about B2B marketing for trade shows, visit

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