10 Ways to Market Your Brand for Free at Trade Shows

Marketing at trade shows

10 Ways to Market Your Brand for Free at Trade Shows

Trade show costs can seem overwhelming and daunting especially for small companies that are just starting out. From drainage and signage, to promotional items and trade show displays, trade shows are expensive!  But, when all is said and done, every exhibitor wants the same thing: The most amount of trade show revenue for the least amount of cost.

But, as the costs of shipping materials, trade show displays, exhibit space, and booth essentials increase, how can exhibitors cut trade show costs and maintain, or even increase, their revenue? The answer is simple: effective and free marketing tactics.

10 Ways to Market Your Brand for Free at Trade Shows

1. Start Blogging –

These days almost every company exhibiting at a trade show has a website and on there is a blog. If this is the case for your brand, then it’s important for your team to unleash the trade show marketing power of your company’s blog.  By writing content before, during, and after the show, it informs your current clients and followers about what shows your company is exhibiting at, while increasing your chances of being found in the search engines by attendees and/or industry leaders.

2. Get Social-

Social media is one of the easiest ways to communicate with your followers throughout the show, but, it is also a great way to get noticed by new customers. Start by following the social pages of the trade show venue or organization hosting the show, then join the conversation. Use the event hashtag to answer questions and connect with attendees, industry enthusiasts, and industry leaders. The more involved your team is in the social conversation, the more times you’ll show up in search results which lead to more attendees at your booth. Want more social media tips? Check out these tips for Using Social Media at Trade Shows.

3. Ego Bait Industry Experts & Thought Leaders

Prior to the show, write a blog or article dedicated to a speaker or major industry leader that will be attending the trade show. Outline their background, experience, credentials, and reasons why attendees and exhibitors alike should be excited about their presence at the trade show. Then, share the article with them on social media or through email. Once received, it is more than likely that they will return the favor by mentioning your brand in a blog or article, asking you to write content for their website, or at the very least, share your article with their followers. Once a connection is established, start a conversation by sending them a personal message or email inviting them to your booth. Even if they decline your invitation, you can rest assured knowing that they now know about your company and they may even recommend your services to their audience and followers in the future.

4. Find Reviewers –

Before and during the trade show, seek out product or service reviewers in your industry that are willing to write reviews about your brand. Then, invite them to your booth and teach them how to use your products and the benefits that they provide to consumers. Take the time to get to know the reviewers and make sure that you answer any and all of the questions they have. Reviews written about your products will help to expose your brand to a larger and more diverse audience. 

5. Find Interviewers –

Offer interviewers the opportunity to sit down with someone from your team to discuss their industry expertise and/or their thoughts on the future of the industry. This works especially well if you have a team member that is well known in the industry  and those attendees or other exhibitors may be interested in interviewing.

Another way to get gain exposure through an interview is by gaining the attention of your local news station. Whether you have a new, innovative product or your team is attending a national trade show, such as CES or E3 expo, approach your local news station and see if they are interested in interviewing your team about the upcoming trade show.

6. Run a Charity Campaign –

Another way to get the word out about your brand is by organizing a charity campaign and hosting it during the trade show. Select a charity that means something to your industry or is close to your brand’s heart and then run a fundraiser for it during the trade show. Be sure to share your charity campaign with your social media followers and encourage them to donate to the cause. By doing so, you will be able to increase your brand exposure and attract more attention to you booth. Plus, it’s a great way to increase awareness for a great cause! **Before planning and organizing your brand’s charity campaign, be sure to touch base with the trade show organizers to ensure that you are allowed to run a charity campaign and that you aren’t breaking any rules.

7. Host Product Demonstrations –

Hosting a product demonstration is a great way to attract attention to your booth and increase brand loyalty and trust. Bonus points if you let attendees try the demonstration! Need help running the product demonstration? Hire product demonstrators to run the demonstration while you and your team members explain what is happening to the audience.

8. Host Trade Show Presentations –

Another free and easy way to market your brand at a trade show is by hosting a trade show presentation(s) at your booth. Like product demonstrations, trade show presentations are a great way to teach attendees and new customers about your brand, products, and/or services. By educating attendees instead of forcing sales, your team will build brand loyalty and trust that will continue to develop for years to come. Just be sure to Avoid Trade Show Presentation Mistakes!

9. Be Creative-

When planning and organizing your marketing strategies for your upcoming trade show, be creative! Think outside the box and do something that excites and inspires attendees in your industry. Not only will they be drawn to your booth, but they are likely to tell their friends, increasing your trade show exposure and ultimately your revenue.

10. Be Impressive-

Along with being creative, it’s also important to be impressive. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so don’t hold back, pull out all the stops, impress your audience, and create an atmosphere at your booth that attendees will be drawn to.

There you have it. 10 ways to market your brand for free at your next trade show. Have you tried any of these tactics in the past? How well did they work?