Trade Show Guide

From Booth Design To Lead Generation, PromoMonster Has You Covered

We know that trade shows can be both exciting and intimidating, but with our insider guide, you’ll be ready to take on the competition and leave a lasting impression on potential customers. So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and get ready to elevate your trade show game to new heights.

12 Ideas, Tips, And Things To Consider For Your Journey To Success

1. Challenges Of Tradeshows

If you’re planning on exhibiting at a trade show, we are aware of the potential challenges and pain points that come with it. These include:

  • high costs
  • limited time
  • competition
  • staffing
  • fatigue & burnout
  • post-show evaluation
  • lead follow-up
  • technical issues
  • shipping delays
  • staff training
  • lead quality

While these challenges may seem daunting, they can be overcome with careful planning and preparation. By setting clear goals and metrics, training your staff, and investing in effective marketing and booth design, you can maximize your chances of success at your next trade show.

Remember, trade shows can be a great way to generate leads and showcase your business, so don’t let the challenges scare you off. With the right approach, you can turn these challenges into opportunities for growth and success.

Every trade show has different objectives and budgets. We have a wealth of experience in working with our clients to provide ideas for your challenges and meet your goals.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

2. Setting Clear Goals For The Trade Show

Imagine you’re embarking on a journey to an unknown destination. You wouldn’t set out on this journey without knowing where you’re headed, right?

The same goes for preparing for a tradeshow exhibit. Clear goal setting is the compass that guides you to success. By establishing specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals, you’re giving yourself a roadmap for success. Your goals provide direction and purpose, helping you prioritize tasks and focus your efforts.

With a clear destination in mind, you’ll feel more motivated and confident in your ability to achieve your goals.

So, before you embark on your tradeshow journey, take the time to set clear goals and objectives. Trust us, it’s the key to a successful exhibit that will leave a lasting impression on potential customers. Oh, now share those goals with us so we can show you the journey to success!

3. Pre-Mailing Ideas

Postcards and Mailers with Promotional Products

Get started with pre-mailing postcards to your prospective attendees to generate excitement and promote your presence at the show. Here are a few ideas for what you can include on your postcards:

  • A sneak peek of your booth design and what visitors can expect to see.
  • An exclusive offer or promotion for those who visit your booth.
  • Information about any special events or giveaways you’ll be hosting at the show.
  • Your booth number and location, so visitors can easily find you.

These postcard mailers will be more impactful when you include promotional products that will serve as a reminder such as a cork coaster, microfiber cleaning cloth, and custom video mailer. Let us help find the right idea that fits your audience.

Two Piece Mailing

This unique approach involves enticing your top customers and prospects with one half of a gift, along with an invitation to pick up the other half at your booth or by scheduling an appointment.

Imagine sending out the top half of a personalized pen with a customized message, and then inviting recipients to pick up the bottom half at your tradeshow exhibit. Or sending out a two-piece gift set with one of the pieces missing along with a note.

This approach creates anticipation and excitement, while also providing an opportunity to connect with potential customers in a meaningful way. By using the two-piece mailing approach, you’ll be sure to stand out from the competition and make a lasting impression on your top customers and prospects.

4. Ideas To Generate Booth Traffic At The Show

In today’s world, technology has become an essential part of our lives. Businesses need to keep up with this trend, especially during trade shows, where customers expect innovative and interactive experiences.

One idea to incorporate technology into trade show promotions is by offering charging stations, USB drives, cable connectors, and charging banks to customers. By providing these items, customers can recharge their devices and stay connected while exploring the trade show booth.

Additionally, offering a branded USB drive can be an effective way to distribute information about your products or services to potential customers. Charging banks with your company logo can serve as a powerful branding tool, as customers will use them repeatedly in their daily lives.

These technology-driven promotional items not only provide value to customers but can also increase brand recognition and leave a lasting impression at trade shows.

Offer your customers a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate with a K-Cup brewer. Of course, serve it in a branded silicone collapsible cup or travel mug. Nothing like a cup of mojo to set the tone for a casual conversation about your products and services.

Contest and Games

Games and contests are excellent ways to engage attendees and create a memorable experience. They provide an opportunity for attendees to interact with your brand and learn more about your products and services. Everyone loves a chance to win and have an element of chance. Engage your customers and prospects with the opportunity to win.

Spin A Wheel – Always a fun way to engage customers and prospects. Customize the wheel with prizes and offers that pertain to your products and services.

Bag Toss Game – Don’t forget to utilize the great space on the boards to promote a new product or service.

Ring Toss – Set up an area for a target with a chance to win depending on which ring they hit.


Snacks like M&M’s, trail mix, and jelly beans are the secret weapons of trade shows. Not only do they provide a much-needed sugar rush during those endless hours on the trade show floor, but they also make great conversation starters. Nothing says “let’s be friends” like offering someone a handful of jelly beans. Plus, let’s be real, who doesn’t love free candy?

Trail Mix is a healthy snack to start a conversation.

You’ll have people flocking to your booth like bees to honey (or, in this case, M&Ms to a candy tin box).

Celebrating or introducing a new product or service, this mini champaign bottle filled with Jelly Beans is a memorable treat.

And let’s not forget the branding potential – a customized chocolate candy or health bar wrapper with your logo is like a mini billboard in everyone’s pocket.

So, if you want to be the talk of the trade show, skip the boring small talk and go straight for the snacks. Your booth visitors will thank you.

Tell us if you have a theme and let us create a delectable delight for you.

Bottled Water

Why let your customers suffer from thirst when you can quench their parched throats and show off your brand at the same time?

Provide bottled water in a branded cooler! Not only will your customers be grateful for a chance to take a break and refresh themselves, but they’ll also get to admire your amazing products and services while they sip away.

Plus, you’ll get to show off your cool branding skills and create a lasting impression that’ll leave your competition in the dust. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s keep your customers hydrated and your brand looking fresh!

5. Tradeshow Essentials

Are you struggling to choose the perfect promotional products for your next tradeshow exhibit? We’ve got the inside scoop on the tried-and-true winners with some new twists: pens, notepads, tote bags, lanyards, and badge holders. These trusty items have been keeping attendees happy and engaged for years, and they never fail to disappoint.

But hold on, before you go all-in on pens and notepads, remember that every tradeshow has its unique audience and objectives. That’s where we come in. We’ll help you select the perfect promotional products that align with your budget and target audience, whether that’s a quirky eco-friendly option or a high-tech gadget that’ll make heads turn.

So, if you’re ready to make a lasting impression at your next tradeshow exhibit, give us a call. We promise to make the promotional product selection process a lot less painful and a lot more fun. Let’s do this thing!

6. Gifts For VIP Clients

Looking to make a lasting impression on your top customers and prospects at your next tradeshow?

Consider a special invitation to meet with them one-on-one or host a VIP event that’ll make them feel special! And to really make it a memorable experience, why not give them an unique gift, branded or not, to thank them for their time and attention?

From trendy gifts to unusual swag, we’ve got ideas to make your guests feel like royalty. So, don’t just attend a tradeshow – make it an unforgettable event that’ll leave your customers and prospects wanting more!

7. Fun Swag For The Show With Purpose

Showcase your brand with the latest and greatest ideas with trending promotional products. Webkeys, phone card holders, and travel tumblers are great ways to reinforce your brand. We can help find just the right product that fits your budget and audience.

Lead your customers directly to the source with the Laguna WebKey – a credit card-sized tech tool that launches the end-user to any website or webpage.

Tip: Make sure you tell the recipient why they are receiving the gift; is it a thank you for stopping by, does it provide future reference to review your products or services, and/or is it to make it a memorable event? Your branded merchandise should provide a purpose and make sure your customers and prospects understand why they are receiving the item. Educate your staff on how to distribute and present the branded merchandise.

8. Print Materials

We offer print materials in all styles and sizes for your needs. From single page, tri-folds, to multi-page catalog style we can get the job done for you. And if you need something to hold and organize your materials, we can create custom boxes, presentation folders, and poly bags to make it easy for your customer to take and remember the event.

9. Dress It Up Or Go Casual

If you want your staff to look their best and make a great impression at your next trade show, it’s important to consider the latest fashion trends in the apparel industry. Dress it up with retail brands like Brooks BrothersOgio, and TravisMathew to name just a few. Or go more casual with camp-style shirts Here are some tips for selecting the right apparel for your staff that incorporates the latest trends:

  • Bright and bold colors: Bold and bright colors are in this year, so consider incorporating them into your staff’s apparel. From bright yellow to vivid red, these colors are sure to grab attention and make a statement.
  • Monochromatic looks: Monochromatic looks, where all pieces of apparel are in the same color family, are also on trend this year. Consider selecting shirts, polos, pullovers, and caps in different shades of the same color to create a cohesive and stylish look.
  • Eco-friendly materials: Eco-friendly materials, such as organic cotton or recycled polyester, are becoming increasingly popular in the apparel industry. Consider choosing apparel made from these materials to show your commitment to sustainability.
  • Athleisure styles: Athleisure styles, which combine athletic and casual wear, are also popular this year. Consider incorporating polo shirts or pullovers with a sporty feel for a comfortable yet stylish look.

We know that you want your brand to stand out from the crowd, and that’s why we offer quality decoration services that will make your logo shine! From embroidery to silkscreening, we’ve got you covered. But why stop there? We also offer a variety of fun and engaging decorating techniques that will make your apparel truly unforgettable. Check out our other selections of Staff Apparel on our Client Resource Center

10. Trade Show Booths

Are you planning to design a new trade show booth or spruce up your existing one? Is your event being held outdoors or indoors? It can be overwhelming to think about all the factors involved, from drawing in visitors to showcasing your products or services effectively. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here are some tips and ideas to help you create an eye-catching and engaging trade show booth design that will make your brand stand out from the competition:

Make it Open and Inviting

Do you need areas for demonstrating your products, or having a more personal or confidential conversation, we have a variety of round tables and chairs to invite your style of conversation. There are booth designs for product displays, let’s find one that fits your needs and objectives.

Give It A Theme

How can a theme make a tradeshow booth fun and engaging?

  • Creates a cohesive experience: A theme can tie together all aspects of your booth, from signage to product displays, creating a cohesive and memorable experience for visitors.
  • Adds visual interest: A theme can add visual interest to your booth, making it stand out from others and drawing in visitors. Imagine your customers and prospects walking down the aisle and your booth will pop out at them, grab their attention and invite them to find out what you are all about.
  • Creates an immersive experience: A theme can transport visitors to a different world or environment, creating an immersive experience that engages their senses and captures their attention.
  • Encourages interaction: A theme can encourage visitors to interact with your booth, whether it’s by playing a game, taking a photo, or participating in an activity.
  • Makes your brand more memorable: A theme can make your brand more memorable by associating it with a specific concept or idea, making it easier for visitors to remember and recall later.

When choosing a theme for your trade show booth, consider your brand, industry, and the overall tone of the trade show. Make sure the theme is relevant and engaging for visitors, and use it to enhance all aspects of your booth design. By incorporating a theme, you can create a fun and engaging experience for visitors that set your booth apart from the rest.

11. Signage

Don’t let any part of your trade show booth go to waste! The booth display and surrounding area offer prime opportunities to engage your customers and prospects.

From eye-catching floor mats with a custom message to high-tech electronic signs and floating banners hanging from the ceiling, these are all great ways to attract attention and increase booth participation.

The possibilities are endless, and with a little creativity, you can transform your booth into a stunning and engaging space that leaves a lasting impression on attendees. So, let your imagination run wild and explore the many ways you can use your booth space to create an unforgettable experience for visitors.

12. Show Follow Up

Trade shows are a great opportunity for businesses to showcase their products and services, engage with potential customers, and generate new leads. However, it seems that many exhibitors are missing out on the full potential of trade shows.

According to recent statistics, only 48% of exhibitors follow up with leads after a trade show, and a mere 17% provide their sales teams with the information they need to follow up with leads effectively.

These statistics are concerning, as they suggest that many exhibitors are not fully capitalizing on the opportunities presented by trade shows. In this article, we’ll explore why following up with leads is crucial and provide tips on how to do it effectively.

Properly following up with leads after a tradeshow is crucial for converting prospects into customers. Here are some tips to help you stay organized and effectively follow up with leads:

  • Categorize Your Leads: Separate your leads during the show into different categories based on their level of interest or potential value. This will make it easier to prioritize and tailor your follow-up efforts for each category.
  • Prepare Email Templates: Have email templates prepared and ready to go for each category of follow-up. This will save time and ensure that your follow-up messages are consistent and on-brand.
  • Assign Responsibility: Before the show, designate who is responsible for following up with each category of leads. This will help ensure that follow-up efforts are timely and consistent.
  • Send Dimensional Mailings: For top prospects, consider sending a dimensional mailing to reinforce your products and/or services and to let them know to expect a follow-up call or email from you. This can help keep your brand top-of-mind and increase the likelihood of a successful follow-up.

By implementing these tips, you’ll be one step ahead of the game and better equipped to effectively follow up with your tradeshow leads.


Preparing for a tradeshow can be a daunting task, but with the right tips and advice, it can also be an exciting opportunity to showcase your brand and generate new leads. With attention-grabbing booth design, well-crafted marketing materials, and knowledgeable staff, exhibitors can make the most of their time at the tradeshow and achieve their goals and objectives. Remember to apply these ideas, tips, and strategies to your next tradeshow exhibit, and schedule a time with PromoMonster for additional resources or services to help you prepare.

Use our planning guide to assist you to plan your next tradeshow event. Check out all our Trade Show Ideas on our Client Resource Center

Contact Us Today to discuss your upcoming trade show event.