What Are the Different Types of Trade Show Marketing?

N. Kalu

There are many different forms of trade show marketing in which a small or medium sized business can engage. Trade show promotion is one of the best ways to get a product or service in front of key users and the target audience. Depending on a business's budget for a specific show, trade show marketing ideas might include setting up an interactive display, passing out promotional items such as buttons and lanyards, or sponsoring a trade show so that the logo appears on all trade show public relations (PR) items.

Trade show promotion is one of the best ways to get a product or service in front of a target audience.
Trade show promotion is one of the best ways to get a product or service in front of a target audience.

Some people believe that trade show marketing is boring and perhaps not as effective as traditional forms of marketing such as television ads, newspaper and magazine ads, and radio announcements. At a trade show, however, business owners have the advantage of dealing with a captive audience who is more likely to use the product or service because of its relevance to the trade show's main topic. Due to this kind of audience, creating an interactive display or workstation to attract passersby on the trade show floor is a great way to drum up interest and reach out to potential customers. Setting up laptops with a presentation or image of the business's product or service and allowing people to use these laptops should attract those who are curious about new advancements in the field.

Interactive displays used as trade show marketing tools also serve to create a critical mass of people gathered around a business's table. Once other passersby see a group of people surrounding the interactive display, they may become interested in what is going on at that business's table and join in. By putting in a little time and effort to create an interactive, computer-based experience, the business owner may achieve his or her goal of getting the business's name out to the public and reaching out to potentially new clients.

Passing out promotional items, such as buttons or lanyards, is another solid way to engage in trade show advertising. Many trade show attendees love collecting little items to remember their time at the show. Any trade show promotional items should display the business's logo prominently and should be placed neatly on the table where passersby can easily grab them if they so wish.

Owners of larger businesses may want to consider sponsoring a trade show. Sponsorship comes with many benefits. Some of these benefits include having the business's logo on any PR collateral associated with the trade show and also having the business's name announced whenever the show's organizers address the audience at a keynote or roundtable.

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