Skip to content
magnet attracting leads at a trade show
Rena PattonFeb 26, 2020 8:30:00 AM3 min read

How to Generate Leads at Your Next Trade Show

Lead generation is one of the most common objectives during trade show planning for trade show exhibitors. With thousands of attendees swarming the halls, how can you capture the most qualified prospects?

Here’s some trade show tips to help you generate leads like a pro:


1. Get an early start

The lead generation process begins long before the exhibit hall doors even open. At minimum, arming up your prospects with pre-show promotions ensures that they will arrive with some level of brand awareness. At best, your pre-show promotion activity will convince leads to make a bee-line to your booth! 

Here are some trade show promotion ideas you can implement ahead of time:

    Your social media accounts are a great platform to hype up the trade show, let your audience know you’ll be exhibiting, and preview some of the offerings they can find at your booth.

    Reach prospects in your industry or target market using PPC ads and media announcements. Include information like the date and location of the event and some incentives to stop by your booth.

    Use SEO in your pre-show promotional mix with trade show-related blog posts that offer value to your prospects. Offer tips for trade show attendees, guides or maps, and of course a peek at what leads will find when they visit your exhibit.

    Reach out on a personalized level with emails that highlight your trade show participation, the location of your booth, and some solutions you’d like to discuss with the prospect.

    Will your leads include your fellow exhibitors? Make sure you snag a media list from the event coordinator if one is available.


2. Super staff

Your booth staff can make or break your lead generation capabilities. Here’s how to generate leads during the trade show:
    If your main trade show objective is to generate leads, that’s what you should focus on during training. Your staff should be able to guide prospects in a conversation, answer all common questions, and gather key information for sales followup.

    Especially if your booth has multiple entrances, you’ll want to ensure that your staff is placed strategically to engage passing attendees from any angle. 

    Movement grabs attention! Animated, energetic booth staff performing product demos and guiding games, contests, and more attract leads like a magnet.

    Implement lead capture software into your trade show program to make the retrieval of lead data as efficient as possible – both during the show and afterwards for post-show follow ups. Your staff should be keeping notes on the most qualified leads to give your sales team valuable intelligence on the people who are closest to sale.

    There are a few “dont's” when it comes to lead generation. Your staff should steer clear of common faux pas such as rushing the lead process, communicating in a way that is not aligned with your current sales strategy, or being overly vague or broad.


3. Use Lead-Friendly Design

Your booth’s features, and functionality should support your lead generation objectives. Here are some lead generation ideas related to booth design:

  • If product demonstrations are your key lead-generating activity, ensure that your demo space has ample visibility and space for viewers.

    QSC-Demo Space(QSC - 30x50 two-story island booth at Infocomm)

  • A B2C company that works with clients’ sensitive information would benefit from having an extra private meeting room to discuss challenges and solutions.

    Mobileye-meeting space(Mobileye - 60x80 inline booth at CES)

  • Storage and counter space are a must for businesses relying on food or beverage samples to generate leads.

    IMG_2054-2(Honest Tea - 20x20 island booth at Natural Product Expo West)

Could you use some extra guidance on how to generate leads? Drop us a line! The gurus at Exhibit Options are here to help with booth design, trade show tips, and more.