As a marketing manager, you should always have an essential checklist for tradeshow items. When you are packing weeks before the tradeshow to meet that warehouse deadline, you are bound to miss some important items as you run around in a flurry. So, make sure to always include the following:
- Raffle sign and business card collector (fish bowls make excellent card-holding devices)
We all know there is a lot of noise at tradeshows, so you need to find a way to stand out and draw attention. Come up with a fun idea for an appealing raffle item (some popular items: Beats By Dre headphones, GoPro, Apple Watch) to draw leads into your booth—especially if it’s a show where you don’t have a leads’ badge scanner. Ask visitors to drop in their business card to enter your raffle, and take the opportunity to provide them some more information about your company’s offerings.
- Sign-up sheets
Forgetting business cards is super common, but have no fear, there’s another way to capture leads’ information. (By the way, take this as a subtle cue not to forget your business cards either!) So, have someplace where people can sign up for communications from your company and be entered in your raffle. Enter the handy sign-up sheet! It doesn’t have to be fancy; it just has to get the job done! You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity to connect with a prospect just because you didn’t come prepared.
- Content and Collateral
Always have on hand pieces of content that explain your company and its products/services. Make sure to have a combination of pieces so that there will be something to appeal to every audience: a fun and super visual one like an infographic, a data sheet that summarizes your offerings, and a heartier piece.
Here are some other ideas of swag to pass out to tradeshow attendees: portable power banks for phones, lip balm, USB drives, t-shirts and hoodies, and blankets (which are perfect for wintertime shows.) Just remember that all your swag should be branded so that people remember you long after the tradeshow lights go down.
- Branded tablecloth and pull-up banner with company messaging
Speaking of branding, make sure that your booth screams your company’s name! It doesn’t matter whether you have a comfortable 10×10 space or if you only have a small area with a 6-foot table. If it’s the latter, be sure to bring a branded tablecloth for your table and a pull-up banner with details about your company’s offerings. Remember: it’s not the size of the space—it’s what you do with it that counts!
As simple as they are (and as easy as they are to pack!), people forget these all the time. These don’t need to be branded, but they’re important! How else are you going to keep notes on attendees and/or collect their information for subscriptions?
If you represent a software company, you’ll likely want at least one monitor to give interactive demos to interested visitors. Regardless of company type, you should plan for at least one monitor to show a fun video that gives an idea of what your company does.
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