Tricks of the Trade Show

As the new year quickly approaches, so does everyone’s favorite time of the year…trade show season!

Okay, so maybe trade shows aren’t exactly a source of excitement for most people, but they are an essential way to stay up-to-date on industry trends, foster customer relationships, and maybe even find a few tokens of inspiration. Let’s face it though, trade shows can be pretty dry–between the mandatory name tags and the fluorescent expo-center lighting, fostering an environment of unique inspiration can be tricky. Not to fear, though. We’ve put together a few tips on how to authentically attract, engage, and entice attendees, and get the most out of 2018’s tradeshow season.

Get creative.

Fair or not, trade shows are often thought of as the Dunder-Mifflin of industry events (no offense to you, Michael Scott). Somehow they have managed to earn themselves a reputation for being stiff and, quite frankly, a bit boring. In reality though, many of the world’s biggest brands are using trade shows as opportunities to showcase their creative prowess and push the envelope. Take it from Ray-Ban, who built a larger-than-life model of its signature Wayfarer model at a recent trade show, and ditch the black tablecloths and vinyl banners. Look for opportunities to creatively bring your brand–and your booth–to life. An outside-the-box approach will surely garner more visitors and even generate some social buzz.

Make it an experience.

As the consumer-landscape continues to change and traditional media channels are flooded with content, brands are increasingly looking to engage consumers on a more meaningful level in order to breakthrough the noise. Not surprisingly, a major part of that effort is centered around creating an emotional connection with consumers. And not without reason–according to a recent study in the Harvard Business Review, consumers who feel fully connected to a brand are 52% more valuable than those who feel highly satisfied!

So, what does it all mean? Consumers want to connect, and trade shows are the perfect place to do it! So whether you’re engaging attendees through interactive sports agility tests like Gatorade at SXSW, or stoking tears through VR headsets, find creative ways to encourage brand interaction and build that emotional connection.

Create lasting engagement.

Okay, so you’ve put together an epic trade show booth, complete with ingenious interactions and a beautiful set up. Now the key is to establish a long-term connection. Ask booth visitors to follow, tweet, or gram a picture at the booth to be entered into a prize drawing. Set up a photo-op station, encouraging attendees to post and share with a specific #hashtag. Anything that will create a channel for future interaction.

This not only helps spread awareness and get your cool ideas beyond the walls of the expo-center, it also creates an avenue to continuously engage with the customer and can even serve as a metric of success. And let’s be honest, if you didn’t gram it, did it even happen?

Pick winning promos!

Last but certainly not least, pick promos that amplify your booth and most importantly your brand. Handing out promotional merchandise at the event is an easy way reinforce your brand! Don’t believe us? A 2017 PPAI survey showed that more than 89% of consumers received a promotional product in the last 6 months, of that, 9 out of 10 recalled the branding and 83% of them said they would be more likely to do business with the company.

Great news, right? Yes! But it also means picking the right promos is essential, so pick products that are fun, functional or trendy. Most importantly though, pick merchandise that accurately aligns with your brand personality and quality standards.

Need some inspiration? We’ve put together a selection of some of our favorite promos and display gear that will guarantee a win at any tradeshow.

Ready to start your new project?

Let’s start your project! We love helping brands create the coolest and most innovative merchandise on the market. We focus on finding the best quality products in your price range, offer creative branding capabilities, and handle everything from ideation to delivery. Contact the Brand+Aid team to schedule a free consultation. Give us a ring at 323-800-2241 or shoot us an email at

Brand+Aid is a promotional marketing agency based in Salt Lake City, Utah and Los Angeles, California. We turn ideas into tangible, fun experiences through experiential advertising. Have an idea you’d like to make happen? Contact our rescue team for a free consultation today at 323-800-2241 or shoot us an email at For more information, check out our website:

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