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The Best Trade Show Checklist For Your Brand


Therese Martin - March 12, 2020 - 0 comments

People walking around busy lobby of trade show

Many brands showcase their products or services at trade shows around the globe. Attending trade shows allows businesses to build brand awareness, network with potential investors, and generate leads. Brands also participate in large conventions to learn more about their competitors and gain insights into their industry. 

If you own a natural health, beauty, or specialty foods brand, you may have heard of the popular annual trade show held in Anaheim, CA: Natural Products Expo West. Due to the health and safety concerns of the coronavirus, COVID-19, the expo will be postponed to mid-April, about a month over the original date, on March 3rd. 

Whether your company still plans to exhibit products at the upcoming Expo West or in future trade shows, we want to help you stay prepared every step of the way.

Our Los Angeles marketing agency knows that an effective trade show marketing strategy is challenging to execute. That is why we took the liberty of creating the Ultimate Trade Show Checklist. In this blog, our agency will share trade show tips from planning ahead, to the day of the show, and post-show matters.

Pre-Trade Show Checklist

12-8 Months Before: Determine Your Strategy

1. Identify your goals. Everything in your trade show strategy must relate back to your business goals. How will exhibiting your products help you and your overall sales goals?

2. Create a budget. Take note of the costs that may come with each trade show. Some expenses include travel, registration fees, marketing collateral, giveaways, and free samples. 

3. Determine which trade show you will attend. Your brand does not have to participate in every trade show around! Choose the trade show that perfectly fits your targeted audience and industry niche. Then, submit all the paperwork needed to secure a spot at your desired event.

4. Plan your trade show booth design. It is crucial to put time and effort into your trade show booth design for a successful experience. At this time, your creative team should determine all of the walls, lighting, graphics, and literature needed for your booth.

6 Months Before

1. Determine the staff requirements for your booth. Choose the best of your staff to be stationed at the exhibition, and train them vigorously. Your team should have an approachable demeanor to establish a rapport with different types of people. They should also be well-versed in your brand story and about each product.  

2. Create your promotional material. Will your brand need any company t-shirts to have a cohesive look? What giveaways will your staff hand out to attendees? Contact our creative agency to create custom made business cards, pamphlets, or stickers to offer.

3. Design signage, or literature you may need. Schedule a free consultation with our Los Angeles branding and print marketing agency for custom-designed product brochures, banners, sales sheets, or flyers. Our creative content writers can develop content for any pitch decks or product brochures your brand will need for the trade show. 

3 Months Before 

1. Booking. Schedule all travel and hotel reservations for you and your team.

2. Order. Purchase all of your promotional marketing material and giveaway items. 

3. Do your homework. Take a look at the list of exhibitors and do some research on the type of audience. Contact the event organizers to request demographic information or refer to the event website for more details. 

4. Start promoting your presence at the upcoming show. Notify the public by sending out press releases to journalists to be featured in relevant publications. Create an email marketing campaign or social media marketing campaign to boost awareness. Write a blog post on your company website. Talk to one of our creative content writers who can provide a copy for all of your upcoming digital marketing campaigns. 

5. Make sure your website is updated. Your company website should have all of the correct information about your wholesale products. Create landing pages for attendees to generate leads and convert sales. Hint: You can put a QR code to a landing page in your marketing collateral! 

1 Month Before

1. Confirmation. Confirm that your trade show booth, signage, giveaways, brochures, and marketing collateral will be ready by the event. 

2. Review the necessary details. Look at the trade show’s website. Know the order of events, such as set up time, location, and booth location. 

3. Prepare an emergency kit. You can find a downloadable emergency kit at the end of this blog. 

During the Trade Show

1. It’s time. Your team can finally execute all of the strategic planning that began a year prior! 

2. Give a warm welcome to all attendees at your booth. Provide product demonstrations and distribute product samples to each person you speak with.

3. Network. The most essential part of trade show marketing is networking with potential investors, customers, or partners. Ask for business cards, remember their names, and ensure that they receive all of the information needed to guide them after the event. 

After the Trade Show

1. Fulfill your leads. Follow up with leads one week after the trade show. No matter how many leads you have, make sure you pass them on to your sales team to complete a sale.

2. Evaluate the trade show marketing success. Review the goals you set and take note of accomplishments/failures. Did any problems arise at the event? How were they solved? What can be done better next time?

Last Tip: We’ll Help You with Your Tradeshow Marketing Design

We at Mad Mind Studios want your company to have a successful experience at your next trade show. Our creative team of designers, strategists, and writers can create custom branding and print marketing design for your trade booth. Contact our Los Angeles marketing agency today to discuss your trade show marketing designs.

Download Trade Show Marketing Checklist