2023 trade shows have returned and restrictions are in the rear-view. In-person shows are back in full force and it’s time to set up some booths and make connections. The following is a list of strategies to use in order to get the most out of this year’s trade show lineup.


1. Marketing

The most important work for a trade show begins long before it kicks off. Pre-show marketing is the best way to let all potential contacts know that you will have a presence at the show. You should contact any possible attendees through all avenues available to you including email, social media, online ad campaigns, and direct mail. Once the show begins you should remain active and participate in the social campaigns that a show is promoting. After the event concludes, follow up with the attendees you connected with as soon as possible and reach out again to those who weren’t able to make it to the show or your booth.


2. Social Media

You should connect with potential clients before you even set up your booth and the best way to do that is through social media. Contact potential show attendees on LinkedIn early to make a connection. Be sure to add a “Note” and inform them about your booth at the show. If they connect back with you, make a record of the conversation and recall it when you meet them at your booth. You should also organize a paid ad campaign for all the company social handles that will be attending the show (learn more about audiences here). Both company and individual LinkedIn handles can be obtained from CSG.


3. Create and Investigate Leads

Trade shows are usually packed to the brim with attendees, yet not everyone there will be a prospect for your company. It’s important to know what you need and who you need to talk to before going to the booth. Research companies attending the show and prioritize some key leads. Make a tiered list and contact the most important individuals early and make an extra effort to meet with them. It’s important to remember their name, title, company, and any previous interactions you have had with them. This kind of information is not always easy to keep track of; however, CSG can provide you with personnel and company info on your mobile device, which allows you to instantly look up information on an attendee.


4. Be Aware of Industry Trends

Things have changed a lot in the past few years and your products need to stay with the times. It’s not enough to know where your industry stands today, you must be looking ahead and evaluating ever changing trends. Your products need to be tailored to fit these trends and contacts you make will appreciate your willingness to adapt. 2023 is going to be full of company expansions and new technology. CSG can keep you up to date about where each industry is headed. We track multiple industries and always have an eye on the latest trends. Even if you are aware of where things are headed right now, trade shows can be a good place to scope out some new ideas and find out what other industry leaders are planning this year.


5. Be Seen and Heard

You need to make a good impression and it’s not always the flashy design of your booth that catches an attendee’s attention. Make sure there is always alt least one person present at your booth and make sure that you are standing and engaged instead of seated. Refrain from constantly being on your phone or eating at your booth during the show hours. always speak to attendees that approach your booth and have someone that can work the floor to engage passersby in conversation. Each discussion is a potential new connection and it’s important to get a business card or badge scan from those you speak with in order to follow up after the show.

To connect with the decision makers and research the companies that did and did not attend, Chain Store Guide provides marketing lists containing the data necessary to reach your target audience. CSG has been the tool used for years by thousands of exhibitors to reach attendees and many of the trade shows themselves use our data to invite buyers & decision makers to attend their events. Contact your Account Manager today to start your trade show preparations. 1-800-927-9292


This month, we will be exhibiting at NRF Retail’s Big Show in NY. Be sure to stop by booth #3480 if you are going this year. We would be happy to discuss your 2023 strategy.