Getting ready for a trade show requires a lot of advance sales and marketing preparation, as much as a year in advance. Many of these important marketing tasks are design-related and cannot be left to the last minute.

Here’s our master list of principal tasks you need to accomplish – and how to go about them – to make any show attendance successful. These five items are essential to any trade show checklist.  

Make advance contact with visitors and contacts

Devote some time ahead of the trade show’s opening to let your contacts know you’re joining the show. Share posts on Facebook and LinkedIn – even on Instagram, if you are friends; send personalized emails as much as you can. If your visitors are coming from overseas, book their time in advance. Offer them a link to your online calendar for a personalized appointment during or after the exhibition, even if it’s for 15 minutes; this shows them you respect their time and are serious about doing business together.

Focus on Exhibition Design

After choosing your exhibition space at the trade show, look at how it can be used to enhance your own company’s branding. Work with an expert exhibition designer who can merge your marketing goals (brand awareness, engagement, finding new leads) with your brand’s visuals at the show. Choose where you’ll display your company videos, collaterals, and product displays. Have a number of compact but comfortable meeting spaces for product or service discussions. Make it easy for newcomers to pick up brochures and speak with any of your associates or sign up for further information. 

Train the Team

Train your sales and marketing team before the show to bring their A-game from beginning to end. Make sure everyone is familiar with your services and is ready to speak to dozens of people a day in a way that creates connections with leads and future prospects. Suits and formal looks are no longer necessary the way they used to be. But it’s still important to unify your team’s look, maybe with a uniform, or by using name tags – or by echoing some of your company’s corporate colors in your outfits.

Prepare Memorable Giveaways

Done right, company giveaways are a truly great way of helping customers remember who you are.  Focus on well-made products that aren’t too heavy, bulky, or flimsy. Eco-friendliness and reusable materials are very popular giveaway trends, as well as useful portable tech gadgets such as power banks. Design these giveaways to carry your corporate colors, branding, and contact info as much as possible. If they are truly useful, they serve as a constant reminder of your brand; they’re your other business card.   

Organize Experiential Activities


Many people come to trade shows to get a full-on personal experience of your brand. Use your space for games, high tech TV displays, or product demos. Or organize an on-site event-in-event to help your brand stand out even more. Use some of your marketing events budget for a centrally located or outdoors pagoda canopy that will create prominent attention for your company logo, and host special talks or presentations here.   

Keep these in mind when preparing to join your next show, as they can make a big difference in creating brand awareness and increasing visitors. By maximizing your trade show presence, you can turn several of these visitors into successful leads. Contact us for your next trade show!