Why Pre-Show Marketing Matters

Do you have a trade show coming up? It’s essential to reach out to show attendees before the event, and here’s why.


Trade Show


Trade show shoppers have limited time and need to make the best use of it. That’s one reason why more than 75% percent of show attendees make a list of the exhibitors they’re going to visit before entering the trade show. To create those lists, they use information including pre-show marketing that comes from exhibitors. Make sure your materials are in front of potential buyers and that you have a planned visit. Don’t you want your business name and booth number to be on a lot of lists?

Overall, about 80% of exhibitors do little to no pre-show marketing. If you are one of the smart 20% who are making the effort to reach out to buyers before the event, you have little competition and it’s a lot easier to stand out. Go the extra mile and make it a priority, because it can literally make or break a show.

Despite the fact that the show itself is publicized, you can’t expect the trade show promoter to do all your marketing. Sure, they work hard to get the word out. But they’re promoting on behalf of all exhibitors, and they can’t tell your individual story like you can. Identify those things that make your brand memorable, and that are unique and appealing about your line. Then, share that with your audience before you meet them in person at the show.

Buyers have budgets, and when you are included in their budget, you win. You may be able to arrange with an existing account buyer to commit a dollar amount towards your line, and then visit your booth to see your newest work and finalize the merchandise they want to receive. What is their incentive to do this? To get on your production calendar so that they receive their orders at the ideal time for them.

Contact your existing accounts and hot prospects through email, social media, direct mail and by phone to grab their attention. Use colorful brochures, show specials and lots of great visuals that share your newest work. More than one contact may be needed. Turn your small business into a marketing machine before the show and reap the benefits of more booth visits and increased sales.


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