Trade shows are held in big cities all over the world, and they are a great place to meet potential partners and clients. The whole point of a trade show is to gather experts, enthusiasts and media that all relate to a singular subject or niche under one roof.

Visiting and running a booth at a trade show is an investment, but with the correct branding and strategy can be a great success. Some benefits of attending trade shows are to raise brand awareness, create new business relationships, gather new leads, learn new skills in your field and analyze the competitors.

Now, you want to set up a booth, but you don’t know where to start? That’s okay, we are here to help! Here is our list of must-haves for a successful show:

1. Eye-Catching Signage

You will hear this everywhere, but only because it is that important. Great signage will catch the eyes of the show attendees and have them wanting to learn more. Depending on your size of booth and location, your signage may vary because you want to be able to catch eyes at all angles. You will want your signs to be simple, professional and informative.

2. Informative Business Cards

At trade shows, you are going to talk to a lot of people. It is going to be hard to remember everyone at the end of the day unless you give them a reminder. It doesn’t matter if it is a classic-sized business card or a postcard, as long as it is something that is small and informative. You want these cards to have a name, logo and contact information on them. If you have a conversation with someone while handing them a card, don’t be afraid to write a note on it to make it easier for them to remember your conversation.

3. Active Social Media

Make sure that you have active social media pages to promote at the event. Before the event, promote that you will be there to your followers, along with updating them while you are there. Getting a follow on any social accounts is more useful than handing out a business card. That potential lead will be reminded of your company every time you make a post, plus, it will give your company more of a personal feel.

4. Samples of Work

So, you caught the eyes of some attendees, and they came up to look closer. You can say that you create anything, but it won’t have the same impact as it would if they could see it in person. If you have physical examples of your work that are travel friendly, bring them. If your item or service is not travel friendly, bring slideshows and video demonstrations of what that is so they can see it right there. Don’t make them do the work of looking it up themselves, because odds are, they won’t.

5. Brochures and Booklets

Congrats, you caught their interest, and they want to pass along more information to their team. Brochures and booklets are going to be easy for them to put in their tote bags and carry into the office once the show is over. Pro tip: If they’re interested enough to take the booklets, staple your business card to the top corner so it doesn’t get lost and they can easily reach out.

6. Promotional Items

Who doesn’t like free stuff? The number of items you can brand is insane. If you’re in construction, you can brand small tape measures, contractor’s pencils, pens, rulers, and the list goes on. If you can relate promotional items back to your industry, that is ideal, but there are also different levels you can take to giving things away.
First, you have the least expensive items like lip balms, keychains, pens and candy that you can just have out to give away. It’s always good to get that brand out there! Next level are the items that cost a little more, but could help build your email list. We are talking the mugs, fanny packs, water bottles and hats. You could make them fill out their name and email to get one, or to spin a wheel to see if they win. Finally, the big ticket items — a vacation, a big brand name item, a free service from your company — you can collect names, email addresses and other contact information and hold a drawing to pull one winner.

7. Automated Email System

The show is over, it was a big success. Of course, you’ll follow up right away on any hot leads, but what about the other contacts you collected? How will you reach out to them? Add them to your automated email list. Not only are these great to use to promote events you will be attending, but they’re great to catch up after events and send reminders about your services.


Oh man, that was a lot — where do you even start? That’s where we come in. Here at Branch Creative Group we have an impressive team of designers, writers, and content creators. We are here to help you make your marketing efforts easy.

If you are interested in how we can help you, contact us today!