Show Time – How to Boost ROI at Your Next Trade Show

Attending trade shows is one of the most efficient ways to meet and interact with enormous numbers of qualified leads in one location at one time. While trade shows can be expensive, putting specific strategies in place can significantly increase your company’s exposure and raise your return on investment (ROI) through the roof.

The trade shows of yesteryear are gone. With competition fiercer than ever before, the need to capitalise on the pool of opportunity is acute. Today’s trade show environment in fast-paced and vibrant and you need to have plenty of energy and a watertight strategy to keep up and thrive. Here are a few examples:

Trade Show Giveaways

Everyone enjoys getting gifts, and collecting trade show giveaways is, without question, most attendees’ favorite pastime. By giving away branded items, you make a great first impression and spread goodwill among potential new customers. These gifts can be an incentive, create awareness, or they can convey an important message.

Items that make great promotional trade show giveaways include:

  • Coffee tumblers and water bottles
  • Tote bags
  • Desk and office supplies
  • Stress relievers
  • Executive games and toys

By adding your company’s name and logo to these giveaways, you help keep your company in the minds of all who get a gift from you.


As soon as you commit to attending a trade show, the work begins. Gone are the days of showing up on the day of the trade show and hoping people find you.

In the weeks leading into the event, you must do everything possible to ensure the right people find you. Make a list of the high priority people who need to see what you offer and set up meetings with them at the trade show. The effort you put in before the actual event puts you on the right path to increased ROI.

Hard-Hitting Email

When someone is interested in what you offer and asks for something to take back to share with their co-workers, it’s vital you have something more than just a pamphlet to give them. In this digital age, there’s no excuse for handing out sub-par promotional material.

You can accomplish two things by sending out a hard-hitting email as the customer walks away.

  1. You give him everything he needs in a professional presentation to share and discuss your product or service with his co-workers and bosses, and
  2. You now have an email address to add to your list for future email marketing campaigns.

The trick here is to send the email immediately – as the potential customer walks away, preferably. This way, you’re on top of things, and he has the information he needs to share easily with others.

Lead Capturing Apps

Lead capturing apps turn capturing leads, qualifying them, and following up on them simpler than ever. There are tons of these apps for both iOS and Android, so it’s important to test drive a few to see which works best for you.

Most lead capturing apps turn a phone or tablet into a scanner that enables you to scan badges and business cards to collect contact and other important information for later nurturing and follow-up.

Trade show participation is a great way to meet new people with common interests and gain new business. While it can be quite costly to attend these events, the promise of increased growth is well worth the expense. Use the tactics listed above to boost the ROI at your next trade show.