5 Small Business Trade Show Advertising Tips

    5 Small Business Trade Show Advertising Tips

    Most small businesses are looking for ways to spread awareness of their brand in order to increase patronage and sales. But this can be a difficult undertaking when working with an extremely limited budget, as most small companies are. While you’re not necessarily trying to compete with large corporations in your industry, you certainly want to achieve as much success as possible, and that at least means taking business away from competitors that run comparably sized operations in your region. There are a number of ways to go about this, from advertising to utilizing social media outlets, but you might also want to attend trade shows as part of your strategy. And here are just a few tips that should help you when it comes to advertising at these events.

    1. Video content. Being seen amidst the many booths present and heard over the din are two definite problems when it comes to any type of trade show. So if you want to capture the attention of passersby, it might not be a bad idea to display some video content. You can run commercials, offer video tutorials, or get really creative by putting together a music video or movie trailer spoof for your company. Just be careful with production value. You don’t necessarily have to hire a Coppola to direct your video, but it can’t look like you’ve shot it in your basement with your smart phone (unless you happen to be spoofing ‘Paranormal Activity’, for example). And keep in mind, your video content must be interesting enough to draw a crowd but also remain relevant to your brand and your products or services.
    2. Demonstrations, presentations, and contests. Another good way to grab attention and get people into your booth is to organize demonstrations of your products or services, presentations about your company, or even contests that encourage audience participation. When properly executed, all of these strategies should pull attention away from other vendors and get trade show attendees flocking to your booth.
    3. Branded giveaways. Whether you’re attending a trade show that caters to the public, the press, or potential partners and investors, pretty much everyone expects to pick up freebies. However, this can get pretty expensive for the average small business. So you need to think about creative and inexpensive solutions. Although pens and magnets are cheap and utilitarian, they’re overdone as a trade show staple. And people tend to stash them at home and forget about them (and you). Instead consider branded tote bags, key chains, cell phone covers, or rubber bracelets, just for example. These are items that people are bound to use in public, turning your patrons into walking advertisements long after the trade show is over.
    4. Brochures. There are two main goals in advertising. The first is to grab the attention of the consumer public. And once you have it, you want to convince prospective customers to support your brand by purchasing your products or services. At trade shows this can be a bit difficult, what with the inundation of information from so many vendors. It is therefore important that you pay special attention to your brochures. Although you want them to be professional and they need to speak to your target demographic, using humor, shock value, pointed questions, and/or compelling graphics could be strategies that lead to people actually reading your brochure when they’re thumbing through a stack of dozens after the show.
    5. Banners. You won’t do very well at a trade show if you can’t lure people into your booth, so one thing you’ll definitely want to attend to is your signage. And with online ordering options from companies like, you should have no trouble getting the banners and other signage you need to make your booth look spectacular.
    Angela Nieves
    Hi, I'm Angela Nieves and I'm a writer, blogger, and social media enthusiast! I've been following and working with bloggers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs since 2004.

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