B2B Trade Show Marketing Guide and Best Practices

As a business, you need to get your name out there. There are several options, and you’ll probably try several of them. You may have seen an increase in sales in billboards, television ads, or cold-calling businesses, but it’s time to try a trade show. Marketing at a trade show puts you in a position to grow your business and take it to the next level. Here’s everything you need to know.

Trade show marketing is setting up a booth with your product at a trade show. Trade shows are made to bring people from a specific industry together, so you are sure to put yourself in a position to make great contacts and a lot of sales.

Benefits of Trade Show Marketing

You should set up a booth at the next relevant trade show for several reasons. Here are just some of the benefits.

Sales Sales Sales

The whole point of a trade show is to bring decision-makers together to learn about new products that can help take their business to the next level. A lot of people come to trade shows to buy. So you can accumulate a lot more sales than on another day.

Direct Marketing

You get to talk to your potential customers at a trade show face-to-face. This allows you to answer any questions and use your personal sales skills to explain how excellent your product truly is. You can’t provide this personal touch with other types of marketing campaigns.

Gather Leads

You can develop many leads even if people don’t buy right then at the trade show. Then, you can follow up with these leads after the trade show to generate sales.


Many marketing options, such as television advertisements or billboards, are costly. Trade show marketing is relatively inexpensive. You don’t have to worry about the competition, either. You are all at about the same level behind your booths. The best product will win as opposed to the most flashy advertisement.

Learning Opportunities

Going to a trade show allows you to increase sales, but it also teaches you a lot about the competition and the new items coming out in your industry. This can give you ideas on transforming your product to make it more competitive. There may even be seminars and speakers who can teach you the way.

Stats Proving the Value of Trade Show Marketing

The proof is in the numbers. Here are some impressive statistics that will get you to set up a booth at the following local trade show.

  1. A personal meeting with a single client generally costs $259. The cost of meetings with clients at a trade show is typically $142. So not only is it cheaper to meet with people at a trade show, but you will also meet A LOT more prospects.
  2. 77% of business owners or representatives changed their suppliers at a trade show. This goes to show that people go to trade shows to buy. So please take the opportunity to have them make the change for you!
  3. 56% of people who visit a trade show have traveled over 400 miles. This allows you to reach people from all over the country, expanding your prospects (and brand).
  4. 51% of decision-makers at trade shows request a follow-up with a salesperson. So even if you don’t make sales at the trade show, you will surely get hot leads and plenty of sales in the upcoming months after the trade show.
  5. 45% of people who go to trade shows only go annually. Some people think they will see the same players at every trade show, but it’s not true. Most attendees only go to one trade show annually. You’ll see new people at every show.
  6. 57% of companies who marketed at a trade show said their employees gained sales experience. Great salespeople allow a company to thrive. The more training, the better. Trade shows are fast-paced, so salespeople learn how to handle a crowd. They learn to prioritize the people they talk to, pitch multiple people at once, and stay organized during numerous sales. They also perfect their closing. Trade show attendees often buy on the spot, and this will give your salespeople more confidence to get a close immediately.
  7. For companies with an event budget between $50 – 100 million, 75% saw a 500% return on investment (ROI). It costs money to make money. Spending money to sell your product at trade shows is a significant investment. How can you deny the return?
  8. 79% of people in marketing include trade shows as a part of their marketing strategy. There’s a big reason that people use this method. Join everyone else, and see how beneficial it can be for you and your company.

How to Increase Trade Show Booth Engagement

Create an Eye-catching Display

People are drawn to attractive and striking things. You can make your booth look however you want, so it’s imperative to do something that will generate attention. Try using bright colors, catchy slogans, and something that appeals to the senses. Have fun and create a Jones effect that will have everyone wanting to know what’s going on at your booth.

Bring Your Best Sales People

A trade show is not a time to teach newbies who have just joined the team. It’s a time to show your potential clients your best. So bring the people on your team with the best track records of success. They are the ones who will be able to make the sales and get the hot leads to generate sales when you get back to the office. They’ll also be the ones who have the people skills to get people to your booth.


Research the trade show. You need to know who will be there to plan accordingly. Be prepared to attract specific customers and face any questions about how you are better than the competition at the trade show. You should also pay attention to the schedule and use it to your advantage. Don’t try to compete for attention with the main attraction. It’s best to do any presentations before or after the most popular ones.

Be Everywhere

Don’t just stand behind your booth. You or one of your employees should represent your company throughout the show. Wear your company’s merchandise and get out there! Go to different seiners, network with people, and be seen. You can convince people to learn more.

Branch Out

Many people want to stick to local trade shows. But, remember that a growing company will start to take business from other areas of the country. If you’re going to go national (or global), you can’t be afraid to travel and put yourself out there in unknown markets. Just be ready to be able to handle the sales!

Guide to Setting Up Your Trade Show Marketing Campaign

You want to get to the show and set up early to prepare for the early arrivers. You also want to make your booth attractive without being offensive. Don’t be afraid to do something fun and unique to get people interested. Going to a trade show before you exhibit is a good idea to see what other exhibitors are doing. If you see something that strikes you as a good idea, don’t be afraid to use it. Ultimately, though, the most critical part of your booth is the people. Bring colorful characters who can communicate with the people at the show.

If you have a great product, you must share it with the world. But, of course, you want to reach the people who most need your product. That’s why you want to go to a trade show. A trade show is designed to get an entire industry together and show them new products. People are at the front to learn more and buy. So don’t miss out because you are afraid of the investment. Just look at the numbers- it’s worth it.