6 steps to take before a tradeshow to increase your booth traffic

Anyone who’s ever attended a tradeshow knows that the competition from noise, competing banners, eye-popping displays and the guttural yells of salesmen desperately trying to get attendees’ attention (not to mention the frantic hunt to find the best giveaways) makes it hard to attract visitors to your booth. With so much noise, so to speak, it gets harder to draw attention to your booth. A lot of businesses make the mistake of hoping attendees visit their booth without implementing a proper tradeshow strategy. So, what are some steps you can take before the chaos begins to make sure you draw the most visitors?

Announce your appearance

Post an announcement of your upcoming appearances on your website, blog and social profiles. If you are active on any social networks, submit a post announcing your attendance to the show. And if you visit several tradeshows throughout the year, add a page on your website detailing which events you will be attending. This gives potential clients, leads, and job prospects the opportunity to meet with you face to face. And make all your tradeshow announcements far enough in advance so customers who want to attend have time to make travel arrangements. People who were on the fence about attending may decide to go after all because they want to see demonstrations of your latest products and services. It’s best to make decisions regarding which trade shows to attend a year or two in advance. This gives your company the proper time to prepare for the event and the ability to give your clients and users an ample amount of time to decide if they will attend as well.


Announce any exciting raffles, prizes, gift bags or special demonstrations before the event. Everyone loves freebies – if they know in advance that you have enticing goodies, they will have you on their must-visit booths. If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford any unique/worthy giveaways, you may not want to promote them. Let’s say you are giving away free pens and a mug while the booth right next to you is raffling away a car…your booth will pale in comparison to foot traffic. Here’s an example on how to be creative: a lip balm company allowed attendees to create their own flavored lip balm at their booth, for free! If you can think of something that is creative and relates to your business, you’ll be sure to increase foot traffic.

Bring new products

Got a new product that is almost ready? Bring one of your most up-to-date or most complete versions of the product to the booth. You can make a presentation of its features. Additional information on the product (like a brochure) can make the product a bit more enticing. And if the product is nearly ready, take pre-orders at the show, or create a raffle and have attendees give their email address for a chance to get the product for free when it’s finally released. You know your business better than myself, but these ideas can make a difference at your booth!

Make sure you are visible on the tradeshow’s website

If you bought a booth at an upcoming tradeshow event, make sure your business is being displayed on the tradeshow’s website. A lot of attendees like to research all the companies that have a booth. The more visibility you have online, the better. And try to provide the website with as much business information as possible because attendees that are unfamiliar with your business will have a better understanding of who you are and what you do.

Social networking

Make sure you reach out to several online and traditional publications. They will help spread awareness of the tradeshow and hopefully mention your company as well.

Schedule appointments

Have good customers in or near the town your tradeshow is located? Contact representatives at their company to see if they want to have a one-on-one with you at the show. It’s a good way to get your key customers to the event. And if you have any potential clients that will be attending, setup a meeting with them as well. Tradeshows are a great excuse to network and grow your business prospects.

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