Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.

@Tradeshowguy Exhibitor’s Toolkit


What is the Tradeshowguy Exhibitor’s Toolkit?

It’s a collection of concepts, ideas, practices and strategies to assist you and your team to a much better tradeshow exhibiting experience than you’re currently having.

If you’re having a good experience, bringing home lots of leads and meeting lots of people, these strategies will help you bring home more leads and meet more people and make a bigger impact.

If you’re having a crappy experience, this collection of tools will help lift you out of the morass that you’ve been experiencing into a new strata of tradeshow lead generation, awareness raising and brand enhancement.

If you think you’re already having the best experience possible, I would ask that you keep an open mind as you read these ideas. Consider putting some or all of them into action and seeing what happens!

Who am I?

I’m Tim Patterson, @tradeshowguy on Twitter. I’ve been in the exhibit industry for about 18 years, first as VP of Sales and Marketing for Interpretive Exhibits, and now as founder and co-owner of Communication One Exhibits.

I’ve been blogging since 2009 here at, writing articles, doing podcasts and posting videos that relate to tradeshow exhibiting. Mel White of Classic Exhibits has called it the ‘best blog in the tradeshow world’ to my face, so I know he’s not kidding! was also recently tabbed as one of the Top Ten Must Read Trade Show and Event Marketing Industry Blogs by Nimlok.

I’ve published a number of e-books, all of which are included in this Toolkit, and have published two paperback books on tradeshow marketing: Tradeshow Success and Tradeshow Superheroes and Exhibiting Zombies. But you – you’re lucky, because you’re getting a lot of that information right here in the Exhibitor’s Toolkit before others!

But I’m not a one-man band. I surround myself with marketing strategists, exhibit designers and fabricators, shippers, set-up and dismantle experts, graphic designers and others that I call on when the situation demands it. Here’s the big, important question that came up in my preparation of this @tradeshowguy Exhibitor’s Toolkit:


Why build such a kit in the first place?

Simply put, we believe that every exhibitor should have direct and easy access to tools and strategies that allow them to have a better exhibiting experience.

We’re tired of exhibitors spending a ton of money on bad or incomplete advice, on exhibits that don’t accurately represent their brand, and being taken advantage of companies that claim to have all the answers.

We’ve assembled this toolkit with an eye to bringing home more leads, creating more brand awareness, and drawing a crowd of enthusiastic people at your booth.

So what will you find in this collection?

Everything downloadable in this collection is in PDF form (with the exception of a spreadsheet or two), so if you’re reading this, you’ll have no trouble accessing all of the materials. There are links to exhibit search websites at the end which will, frankly, probably overwhelm you with all of the choices.

Let’s start with the main piece called simply the Tradeshow Exhibitor’s Toolkit. It’s a 20-page look at how to specifically apply several practices to your tradeshow strategizing. It starts at the beginning, showing you how to determine your overall objectives for tradeshow marketing, and then for each show.

Then we get into nuts and bolts of building a budget, which shows to attend, pre-show planning including social media engagement, your company booth, show execution, tradeshow booth staff training, lead generation, post-show follow-up and record keeping so that it becomes easier to keep track of things show to show and year to year.

That’s it in a nutshell.

In addition, you’ll find the e-books that I mentioned, including the first one I wrote back in 2009, and revised in 2013. “Twittering Your Way to Tradeshow Success” may seem a little dated, but it’s short and there are some good ideas and observations in it, so I included it.

Up next is “101 Rules of Tradeshow Marketing” which was downloaded over 3000 times in the first couple of years of its admittedly small release. A quick and fun read which you could probably scan easily over a cup of coffee.

You’ll also find the digital version of a small book I self-published in early 2014 as a giveaway to several exhibitors and potential clients. “Super Networking at Events and Tradeshows Using Social Media” is about 75 pages long and covers about every angle I could think of regarding events, tradeshows and social media.

There’s also a special report called “The Future of Tradeshows” written by Lew Hoff and myself and assembled by Bartizan Connects.

There are a couple of spreadsheets to help with your tradeshow budgeting and your ROI. The former is based on several iterations that I’ve put together over the years and made available on my blog. The ROI calculator comes courtesy of Handshake.

Elsewhere you’ll find a contact file with all of my personal and social media contact points. Feel free to reach out, follow, connect, tweet and otherwise tell me who you are and what you’re doing.

So…enjoy – and my best wishes for a great tradeshow experience with lots of visitors, growing lead generation, and increased branding and awareness to you and your company!

Best regards,

Tim Patterson

@tradeshowguy on Twitter

Call me anytime at 503-507-4110

Download Your Exhibitor’s Kit Here

Here’s where to download all of the goodies (PDFs or Excel Spreadsheets):

Get it all here in one zip file. (about 61 MB)

Or check out all the pieces one by one:

First download the full kit with the 11-part explanation of tradeshow marketing (the basis for my new book coming soon)

TradeshowGuy Exhibitor’s Toolkit

Next, grab an assortment of e-books and special reports:

101 Rules of Tradeshow Marketing

Twittering Your Way to Tradeshow Success

Social Media Tradeshow Marketing Checklist

Future of Tradeshows

Super Networking at Events Tradeshows Using Social Media

Now, here are two valuable worksheets to help you calculate costs and ROI:

Tradeshow Budget Template

Handshake Tradeshow ROI Calculator

Okay, now for some fun stuff. I’ve been making and posting videos for years on at the Tradeshow Marketing channel, and some of them may be very useful for your continuing education into sharpening your tradeshow strategy. Let’s take a look at a few, okay?

Let’s start with a 20-minute video that is actually NOT available to the public on the Tradeshow Marketing Channel. It’s a video that was made specifically for visitors who opted into the Tradeshow Exhibit Buyer’s Kit website, one of our outreach websites.

In it, I walk viewers through the three main questions anyone should ask if they are in the market for a new exhibit:


Up next: a series of case studies on the use of social media relating to event marketing, starting with gDiapers:

Then comes a case study of Criterion Machine, a company that used social media to increase awareness and leads in the industrial world:

Now let’s take a look at managing social media for an event from a long ways away – a continent or two away, in fact:

Here’s an idea I explored in an 8-minute video on using webinars to promote your tradeshow appearance:

Now let’s learn what it means to hire a professional presenter at your next tradeshow appearance. This is a long discussion that I had with Ken Newman of Magnet Productions and Andy Saks of Spark Presentations. Fun and very informative, especially if you don’t really know what it means when you hire a pro for your booth:

And while there are a LOT more videos at the Tradeshow Marketing YouTube channel, let’s mention just one more: Rooibee Red Tea’s approach to Tradeshow Marketing. I discussed the topic with Creative Director Zachary Anderson:

Looking to purchase an exhibit?

You can do no better then checking out the following resources:

Exhibit Design Search: simply the best tool to see exhibits, check prices and ask questions. Find in-lines, islands, modular, banner stands, accessories, etc.

Display Select: A smaller, budget-oriented tradeshow search site.

Exhibitor’s Handbook (website)

Tim Patterson

Tradeshow Marketing Expert & Dynamic Public Speaker/Trainer

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