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What is Trade Show Marketing?

A trade show is a sponsored event by a trade association for a specific industry. This trade show or exhibition is usually intended as a way for companies to gain new clients, investors, and customers. It’s also a way for companies, new and established, to promote their products and services among their target audiences.

For this purpose, companies put on colorful displays and stands at trade shows. However, choosing from various types of exhibition stands, colors and marketing slogans is easier said than done.

How Do You Market a Trade Show?

Marketing a trade show requires a lot of hard work, patience and careful planning to attract key niche investors and clients. Here is a standard approach to market a trade show.

1. Speak, Don’t Just Exhibit

Don’t just let the promotional material do the work, speak about it. You should have at least one specific speech ready to impress the targeted audience. It should be about something current and relevant to your field. It should also intrigue and interest any potential investors.

2. Identify Goals Beforehand

Make sure you define your goals before the event. You should have objective and achievable goals in mind, including the number of investors or customers you want to attract at the show. You should also have a goal of how many people’s details you want to get, how many people you want to engage, etc.

3. Use Multiple Marketing Channels

Use emails, social media campaigns, and strategic messaging to spread the word about your trade show. Target the niche you’re most likely to get interest from. Instead of marketing to the general public, market to companies you want as investors, or businesspersons, speakers, and investors.

In your marketing messages and emails, highlight where your booth is, the date and time, and the sessions to attend. Also highlight other event information like where to get information and when the event ends and starts.

4. Select an Ideal Place for Your Booth

Make sure that your booth is visible. It shouldn’t be all the way in the back so that people have to walk long distance to get there. It shouldn’t also be right in the front. People pass by what they see first in a trade show pretty fast. However, if you can snag a place in the middle or somewhere near the center, you’re golden. Your banners and booth should be visible, and there should be enough space for you to interact with customers.

5. Design Your Booth for Maximum Impact

Have energetic and enthusiastic employees at the booth who can engage visitors that are interested in your products or services. If one so much as stares at your booth for longer than a second, there’s you’re lead.

You should have engaging topics of conversation and speeches ready to engage people. Motion graphics, videos, and demonstrations can be very powerful vehicles. You should have specific giveaway items and colorful banners for maximum impact. You should also come up with great slogans to attract people.

6. Create a Post-Event Follow Up Strategy

After the trade show is over, you should follow up with the attendees that visited your booth. Make sure to take their contact details; don’t just hand them your card. Create follow up emails in advance and send them specifics about the products that they spoke to you about.

This is part of lead nurturing and increases the likelihood of those visitors converting into customers. This will help determine the prospects that are worth pursuing and save the sales team a great deal of time and energy. It will also help identify which areas you need to improve on when it comes to lead nurturing.

What Is the Standard Size of a Trade Show Booth?

The typical size of a trade show in both Europe and Asia is about 3-square meters. However, you can get slightly larger spaces in America (about 100 square feet). You can increment that area, depending on how much space you need. Larger spaces cost more, of course.

What Are the Different Types of Trade Show Displays?

Trade show display can vary in size. They can contain hugely detailed or minimally simple graphics or crucial information about the company, product, or service. Choosing the right stand also has to factor in the ease with which they can be transported, dismantled, and reassembled. Cost and durability also play a part when these decisions have to be made. Hence, here is a comparison of some of the most commonly used types of exhibition stands

Modular Banner Stand

Modular banner stands are by definition made so they can be taken apart and built back up again. They can be fitted together in a number of combinations so that they can create an exhibition stand. The reason that modular banner stands are so useful is that they can easily be carried around. After they’ve served their purpose, they can be literally folded up and taken apart.

This way, they can be very large in size when put together and relatively easy to carry around. This large portable display can be purchased for relatively little depending on the size. It is perfect to elevate your trade exhibition presentation to the next level.

You can do relatively well with an off-the-shelf stand in certain shapes and heights. You can also get graphics printed to the specific requirements you need. They’re the perfect custom exhibition stands for your trade show booth.

Pop Up Stand

A pop-up stand or pop-up display is made of a pop-up frame structure. It is usually constructed out of PVC panels, which contain graphics and are attached to the frame. It is extremely ideal for creating eye-catching and professional backdrops. These include backdrops for events, exhibitions and shows. They’re not to be confused with banner stands.

Pop up stands can also be replaced with different graphics later on. They don’t have to be newly purchased or given for replacement. You can remove the graphics yourself. Pop up displays are also portable due to their lattice frame and structure, which collapses like a concertina frame. You can fit them all in to a wheeled case.

Retractable Banner Stands

A retractable banner stand is one that retracts into its base or housing. It does this by means of a spring mechanism or a tensioner. This pulls the graphic around a roller and stores it for another time. The highest tension is applied to the graphic while it’s in the open. This is where the graphic is the most vulnerable as well and can tear the most easily. The graphic can open in the down or up position as well.

Banner stands do vary in price, however, since they come in high- and low-quality configurations. If you want a stand that lasts, you have to pay more. The reason is for the quality of the springs. If you buy a low-quality stand, chances are that the springs will give way very soon. A higher quality stand will last, no matter how much you use it.

Literature Stands

Literature display stands are used to hold books, brochures, and cards that tell visitors about the company, products, or services. They consist of a series of displays, all rolled into one, so they can hold multiple flyers, brochures, booklets.

Modular Stands vs. Custom Exhibition Stands: What’s Better?

Modular stands and custom stands both have their advantages and drawbacks. Let’s take a look at them one by one.

  1. Flair: Custom-designed exhibition stands can be whatever you want. They can serve your purpose, specifically for the booth or the type of exhibition. Modular stands may not be able to add as much flair.
  2. Space and Portability: Modular stands win out here. They’re easy to assemble, take apart, pack up, and carry. Custom-designed exhibition stands, depending on their size and weight and purpose, may not be as portable.
  3. Reusability: Modular stands win here too. Custom stands may be made for a specific trade show. Hence, they can’t always serve multiple purposes. Modular stands can be adjusted anywhere due to their design.
  4. Durability: A custom-designed stand can be made for a specific purpose and according to specific standards. Its durability can be far greater than a standard modular exhibition stand.
  5. Storage: This point can go in favor of booth modular or custom-designed displays. However, since modular displays can be picked apart and stored easily in general, this one goes to them.


Depending on what your needs are, you can choose either display. However, with 3 out of 5 categories going to the modular display, it is perhaps the better choice.

How Do Retractable Banner Stands Work?

Retractable banner stands can be handled very easily. It’s just a pull and let-go mechanism operated by a spring. It retracts the banner or poster into a base so it is housed without being torn, folded, or otherwise harmed. This allows the banner to be saved from any outside weathering effects or any external blemishes, stains, etc.

However, care should be taken when the banner is retracting. You should ease the banner into the base slowly. This should avoid any tearing or crumpling. Also make sure that you retract the banner immediately when the exhibition is over. This will reduce the constant tension in the springs and increase its shelf-life. Also, don’t pull or retract the banner too often, as this will also weaken the springs.

What Do You Put on a Retractable Design Banner?

The best banners for a retractable banner stand are made out of PVC. They’re durable, don’t easily tear or fold or get creases. They don’t fray along the edges or get stains that quickly. They’re also curl-free and smooth.

You should decorate the retractable banner with as much text and graphics as possible, which are readable from a distance of 5-6 feet. Don’t overwhelm the banner so that it looks like a collection of noise. However, you should also take advantage of the banner so that it houses crucial information needed by your customers.

How Do You Choose the Right Exhibition Stand?

Pay attention to the type of exhibition stands you have. They will ultimately decide the booth’s significance. So here are certain criteria you need to keep in mind.

  1. Cost: If it costs too much, it’s probably not worthy buying for just one show. You can rent it out for the one show. However, if you’re planning on visiting multiple trade shows, calculate the total rent and compare it to the selling price.
  2. Preferred Suppliers: You will always get a list of suppliers for exhibition stands and other materials from the trade show exhibitors. However, you don’t have to choose one of these suppliers. You also don’t have to stick with your own suppliers if you can get a better deal elsewhere. Make sure that you weigh quality and cost when you make your decision.
  3. Exhibition Type: What are you exhibiting? Does it require a large banner? Do you have a lot of information to display? These are all the questions that you need to ask yourself before you buy or rent an exhibition stand. For the standard exhibition, you could probably get the pop-up stand or the modular banner stand. However, if you want your banner to be huge, you’re better off getting the retractable banner stand. It’s all about your priorities.
  4. Staff Members: Believe it or not, this is crucial. If your staff members are comfortable using one type of stand rather than another, don’t burden them. It may take them longer to set up one stand than another, or to explain using one stand or another, etc. Let them stay in their comfort zone for this one.

In a Nutshell

Trade show displays and marketing planning are both crucial to the success of your exhibition. You should plan for both so that your exhibition is a success. The displays, stands, marketing tactics, and key targets all affect the success of your trade exhibition.