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

Tradeshow marketing

Tradeshows are Returning, But Not Everywhere

A quick scan of my Linked-In feed seems to confirm it: shows are returning to a lot of areas in the country. This morning I saw the news that Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said that Nevada would be “100% open” on June 1st. This is definitely good news for shows in Las Vegas. I also saw a story last week, speaking of Las Vegas, that Tesla’s Boring Company had completed the mile loop under the Las Vegas Convention Center. Not really related to Vegas opening up, but cool nonetheless.

The Las Vegas Convention Centered recently showed off their nearly $1B expansion with the debut of the new West Hall, touted as a 1.4 million-square-foot West Hall expansion.

Trade Show Executive published an article last month detailing the return of tradeshows to Orlando, Dallas, and Atlanta, which has also been shared extensively on Linked In.

So yes, no doubt shows are slowly coming back. And I think the key word is slowly. You might add “randomly” as well to that description since many states are still experiencing increasing COVID cases (hello, Michigan!), which means some areas will open sooner than others. And yes, politics plays a part. Pandemic fatigue also is a big part.

My big question, though, boils down to how exhibitors and attendees will balance their desire to get back to the show with their desire to believe they’re safe when they do. That may change in the next few months as more and more people are vaccinated and the country edges closer to herd immunity, but of course there are always flies in the ointment, like virus variants, refusal among many people to wear a mask in certain situations, and so on.

Bottom line: shows will return, but it’ll be months or at least another year before the whole country can say that we’re getting close to normal.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, March 29, 2021: Jeff Quade

One of the ongoing challenges I find with exhibitors is working with show services. There seems to be some sort of mystery about what they do and don’t do, how much they charge, how to save money on it, and much more. I caught up with Jeff Quade, EVP of Exhibitions at GES to talk about all of these topics and more. We started with the news that shows are moving back into Las Vegas.

Find GES here.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Mr. Mercedes, the TV series based on the Stephen King book.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, March 15, 2021: Rama Beerfas

Last April I had Rama Beerfas of Lev Promotions on the show to talk about how the pandemic had affected her world. Thought it was time to check in again and see what has changed in the meantime. Yes, at least some things have changed, including the challenges of promotional product vendors to bring items in from across the sea. Check it out:

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, February 8, 2021: Jamie Young

A sit-down with Jamie Young of Uptown Screen Printing where we delve into ways to plan goal-setting for tradeshow marketing, and how to find a good promotional product that resonates. Hope you enjoy this week’s TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee:

Find Jamie at Uptown Screen Printing.

Jamie got connected with me through Kathleen Gage. Here’s Kathleen’s appearance on this show.

This week’s ONE GOOD THING: Valentine’s Day is this Sunday!

Goal-Setting at Tradeshows

It doesn’t take that much to exhibit at a tradeshow. Just rent a booth space, bring an exhibit, a handful of staffers and do your thing.

Uh, what’s your thing, though? That’s the big question. Are you there to increase brand awareness? Show that you have a bigger or cooler exhibit than your main competitor? Take a client out for dinner and drinks?

As George Harrison once sang, “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”

It’s better to have a plan. To know what you want. More leads? Sales? Giving away a specific number of samples? Getting more social media followers? Certainly, you want to pick goals that are important to growing your business. But one step beyond that is to not only pick good goals, but to make them concrete goals, such as:

  • We want 150 good leads, 50 of which are new.
  • We want 300 new Instagram followers.
  • We want to hand out 1000 product samples.
  • We want to do 100 in-person demos of our product or service.
  • We want to meet with CEO’s of three major prospects.

Once you delineate those goals, create a plan to get there. Create the roadmap. If you want to meet with specific people, set appointments. If you want to line up new social media followers, make it easy. If you want new leads, have a method for uncovering the right prospects.

Tradeshow marketing can be expensive, but since you are at a place where thousands of prospects are all gathered in the same place, it’s also the ideal setting to generate leads at the lowest cost-per-lead you’ll ever manage.

Create a plan. Follow the plan.


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Tradeshow Guy Blog by Tim Patterson

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