How Cleveland Exhibitors Find Time to Do Trade Show Promotions

Time to Do Trade Show Promotions Recrop

How Cleveland Exhibitors Find Time To Do Trade Show Promotions

To get full value from your trade show exhibiting, it’s a best practice to promote your presence at Cleveland shows before and during the show with promotions. That’s because there are far more exhibitors at the show than an attendee can possibly visit, and attendees decide most of the exhibitors they will visit before the show.

And yet, exhibitor after exhibitor, show after show, fail to do any pre-show or at-show promotion. Why is that? Because often, exhibitors struggle to finish their deadline-driven logistical tasks (trade show display shipping, booth staffer hotel and travel, show services orders, and the like).

So, they keep putting off the “optional” things, especially promotions. Until it gets so close to the show, that they skip the promotions altogether, thinking they don’t have time to come up with an idea and execute it.

WHEN to Plan Your Trade Show Promotions

We do have some ideas on how you can get your pre-show and at-show promotions accomplished. But rather than advise you WHAT to do to ensure you complete your trade show promotions, we’re going to instead suggest WHEN you plan your trade show promotions. Because it’s a question of time!

Plan Promotions When You Design Your Booth

If you want to take your exhibit marketing to a higher level, then at the same time you design your Cleveland trade show booth, create the promotional activity you will be doing in your booth.

That way, your booth and promotion will truly be integrated, where the messaging fits, and the space needs (for storage or to host activities) align. Are you giving away a promotional item that truly ties into your marketing messages? Where will you display it, and store it, and does it visually match your trade show booth graphics? Hosting a presentation? Then design your space to accommodate it. Inviting attendees to participate in an interactive, experiential activity? Then you really need to build space and props into your booth to enact that activity.

By forcing your marketing team and exhibit designers to solve both the trade show exhibit design and promotional challenge simultaneously, you’ll get a better marketing campaign in your booth, and have more time and greater impetus to purchase and implement your promotions.

Plan Promotions When You Confirm Your Annual Booth Schedule

It’s certainly not every trade show that you get a new trade show exhibit. So, what about all the other shows? An excellent time to plan your promotions is during the fall or winter budgeting time when you are planning which shows you will exhibit at the following year. Especially after you’ve finished your busy fall show season.

As you confirm the list of shows you will exhibit at the following year, your mind is focused on why you will exhibit there (your goals) and why that audience is worth reaching. That’s also a wonderful time to go one step further and brainstorm promotions that will help you meet your goals and entice those audiences.

Just remember that if the shows on your schedule include a variety of different audiences (industries, job titles), then you may do even better with a variety of promotions that will be appropriate to your various audiences.

Plan Promotions That Are Designed to Be Repeatable

Another time to plan your promotions is the last time you had one that succeeded. Consider re-using promotions that can be repeated at many shows, because they work, and they tie into your marketing messages. That could be a show special discount, a giveaway that has a nice memorable hook to their main benefit, or whatever worked in the recent past. (Just be aware that if your shows’ audiences are very different, the same promo may not work at all shows).

And those repeatable promotions can still be new if they are repeatable in that you have a proven promo strategy that you continue to tweak. Some exhibitors give out something related to the show city (for shows that change location), some give out a new stuffed toy animal version of a company mascot, some give a trends presentation – these are easier to update than to come up with as a new idea.

Plan At-Show Promotions

Taking the idea of proven, repeatable promotions even further, seek out at-show promotions that are so attractive, they will gather a crowd for you even if you never sent an email, mailed a letter, made a phone call, or posted a social media message before the show. That way, you just ship your promo (giveaways in stock, or props for activities) to the show with the booth, and away you go.

Sure, you will get even more results if you also do the pre-show promoting of it, but if your at-show promo is exciting enough, it can carry the load for you.

As an exhibitor, you are starved for time, and promotions, while key to your success, are often the first casualty in your war to get it all done. Try using these ideas about when to plan your trade show promotions, so you still have time to execute your pre-show and at-show marketing activities that will multiply your trade show success.

Have Questions? Contact Us.

Share this post

Scroll to Top