Top 5 Ways to Maximize Your Trade Show ROI

Kari Bretschger

November 1, 2014

Top 5 Ways to Maximize Your Trade Show ROI

Trade show season is wrapping up at IMW for clients in several B2B industries. One of the most notable is the Avocados from Mexico 360-degree program at the recent 2014 PMA Fresh Summit Convention and Expo in Anaheim, CA – the largest gathering of fresh produce and floral industry retailers and sellers. The show included more than 1,000 trade show exhibitors and 22,000 attendees. IMW created a trade show experience that maintained the brand’s leadership position as the #1 brand of avocados in the U.S. Show attendees experienced several multi-sensory activities including a new exhibit inspired by the brand’s “Made with Love” campaign, avocado samples from two gourmet food trucks, custom video, digital content and unique sales tools. Below are the top five ways that we can help maximize your next trade show advertising program.

1 – Define Why You’re Exhibiting in The First Place!
Just like other marketing programs, it’s essential to clearly define your trade show selling and communication objectives. Most brands’ goals are to generate leads and sales on the show floor – that’s a given when 84% of show attendees have the power to recommend or have final purchasing decisions. Do you have new products and services that can draw the attention of attendees as well as trade media? Meet with existing customers to further solidify relationships. Are there new trends that can be shared? Now more than ever, attendees are looking towards trade shows to hear from experts on what’s shaping their industry.

2 – Invite, Attract, Engage
Get an early start by reaching attendees with a solid pre-show promotions plan. Give them a sneak peek of what to expect at your booth with a printed or digital invitation and public relations outreach. Once on-site, engage attendees with sight, touch, and smell in addition to hearing about your brand offerings. When trade show advertising experiences are multi-sensory, your audience is more apt to remember your message and in turn follow the call to action. Contests and promotions are always traffic generators – just make sure they tie back to the overall strategy. New product news also draws attention to the exhibit, especially from trade media. Consider leveraging a celebrity – think beyond the big name spokesperson and explore someone that personifies the brand: retired sports stars, local celebrity chefs, well-known industry bloggers and experts also fit the bill at creating buzz at your booth.

3 – Clearly Define Your Message
Set your staff up for success by limiting your trade show messages to a maximum of three. Of those defined messages, identify the one idea you want to communicate in the first 3 seconds a visitor sees your exhibit.

4 – Showcase Your Competitive Advantages
Trade shows are a unique way to personify your brand’s unique benefits. Tout those characteristics that are unique to the brand through photography, infographics and case studies. With sensory overload on many a trade show floor, visuals of your competitive advantages will speak volumes.

5 – Measure Your Success
Clearly measuring and defining your show accomplishments not only helps evaluate return on investment, but also creates a benchmark and helps with planning for future shows. Everything can be measured – from the number of visitors and leads at the booth, to audience behavior that measures the amount of time spent in each area of the booth. Each measurement tool should be able to build up and evaluate the pre-determined goals.

– See more at:


Brand Strategy