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5 Expert Tips to Maximize Your 2023 Trade Shows

Plan Now for Your Brand's 2023 Trade Show Appearances

As we approach the end of 2022, it's time to start thinking about 2023. Yes, we know we’ve got Christmas holidays to look forward to first, but if you're serious about maximizing your 2023 trade show appearances, it's time to think ahead. 

Trade shows offer a massive opportunity to increase your brand awareness and get face-to-face with exciting new prospects. While there are some best practices you must follow to get the most out of them, these shows are full of people interested in what you offer, many of which can swiftly become your customers.  

Despite how lucrative trade shows can be, they can be detrimental to your business when not carried out correctly. Imagine you've set up at a show booth outside your local area, dragged Dave from marketing to man the desk, and people mostly walk by the booth. Between checking his phone and eating cheese sandwiches, Dave occasionally tells passers-by why his product is the best in the convention center. What a tragic situation.

cheese sandwich

Not only are you gaining nothing from the show, but you're also wasting time and effort and paying Dave to eat cheese sandwiches when he should be focusing on marketing! So how do you avoid wasted trade show opportunities? And how can you maximize your brand's trade show appearances? Let's discover everything you need to do for future shows.

5 Tips to Prepare for Upcoming Trade Shows 

Standing out on the trade show floor not only takes unique and innovative marketing ideas but also requires several steps beforehand. These trade show tips make your brand stand out, attract new leads, develop relationships, build trust, and ultimately boost sales. So how do you make this happen? 

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1. Plan

Planning is the key to success for any trade show. After all, successful trade shows include numerous components, from producing awesome trade show ideas, choosing the best shows, hiring the best staff, booth design, and how you want to represent your brand. So, sit down and map it out beforehand.

Write down your exact audience by creating a customer persona, and make decisions based on that. You may already know this, but if you don't, consider a detailed demographic, their hopes, dreams, and goals. This allows you to plan your show that evokes emotion in those people.  Here is a helpful template from Fit Small Business to get you started.Infographic_How_to_Create_a_Customer_Profile_In_6_StepsIf you need help generating your trade show marketing ideas, The Experiential Network team can help you, from carefully creating excellent trade show displays to sourcing reps to perfectly represent your brand. Get in touch today to plan your next trade show with us. Once you’ve got your audience and plan in place, there's another critical step before you book your first show.  

2. Set Clear Goals

Without clear goals, your shows will lack effectiveness. Set goals and note everything you want to achieve for every trade show you attend. These should be measurable goals like the number of new leads, reach, and sales. 

These goals, however, shouldn't be just an arbitrary figure plucked out of the imagination. They should be realistic, measurable, and achievable. While you want to be ambitious, you need to make sure any goal you set is specific and attainable. The goals should also focus less on getting higher numbers and instead on finding high-quality leads — people genuinely interested in your business. Try applying the SMART goal method... here is a free worksheet from

Smart Goals InfographicFor example, instead of aiming to appear at as many shows as possible, direct that effort, time, and money into creating incredible experiences for prospects in fewer shows; it’s significantly more effective. 

In addition, ensure all team members and departments are on the same page with the goals. For instance, marketing may have a number of leads they want to hit, while sales might have a different figure in mind. If not aligned, you have people working toward different goals, which reduces your show's potency. Aligning your teams/departments ensures a well-oiled machine working together to achieve the same purpose. 

3. Find the Right Shows 

While appearing at a high number of shows is fantastic for increasing your exposure and uncovering leads, the volume of appearances is not necessarily a metric for measuring success in trade show lead generation. Especially when venturing to shows outside your niche or local area. 

Black and Beige Annual Project Schedule PlannerCarefully selecting the shows that attract your exact audience is a critical step in success with each show you attend. Fewer shows with people super interested in what you offer are significantly more potent than attending hundreds with people outside your customer persona. 

Struggling to find shows filled with your ideal customer persona? Let us take care of finding those shows; our team will expertly source the shows to connect you with your ideal prospects. 

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4. Hire the Best Staff 

It's all well and good coming up with excellent trade show ideas, but if you haven't got the right staff to convey them, you're wasting your time. Getting the best ambassadors to represent your brand is crucial, as these people represent the first impression of your business. This means that Dave from marketing, desperate to get out of the office, might not cut it.

trade show staffer interacting with young guest

While Dave may care about your brand, bringing in outside brand reps can be more effective and free up your staff for other tasks. Bringing in professional, attentive, and enthusiastic brand ambassadors can accelerate your prospect interaction and make your brand stand out among a sea of averagely staffed booths. Nothing attracts customers more than a well-dressed, attentive, smiling rep who cares about the show, your brand, and your prospect. 

The Experiential Network can source highly professional staff to man your trade shows, while you work on more creative business and brand-building activities. We match you with reps who will engage with and move your most exciting prospects to action. 

5. Get Creative 

In 2022, you need to get creative with your trade show displays. Everything from presenting your products to how your staff represents your brand counts. Doing something professional and outstanding will attract attention from those who genuinely care about your brand. 

IMG_3825Everything counts, from the design of your booth, the appearance, and experience of your staff handling the desk, how they interact with potential leads, your banners, and every aspect, no matter how small, counts. After all, this is what potential customers will see and is their first impression of your brand. 

In addition to your trade show booth design, you can also take advantage of other creative opportunities. For example, trade show giveaways are a fantastic way to meet and engage with new sales leads and create hype around your brand, which can set you apart from the convention center masses. 

Our team can help you explore trade show ideas, booth design, contests, product launches, sweepstakes, competitions, and things that will draw people to you. If you want to find out more, get in touch with us today and find out how we can accelerate your trade show lead generation in 2023. 

How The Experiential Network Accelerates Your Trade Shows

At The Experiential Network, we are committed to helping you make the most of every trade show. We help you find the perfect shows in your state, matching you with the most suitable, highly qualified leads.  Download A Case Study Here. 

We generate innovative trade show ideas and source expert staff to separate your show booth from the crowd, professionally representing your brand while knowing how to inform, persuade and drive sales. Say goodbye to uninterested Dave from marketing, who just wanted to get out of the office for a day. We find passionate and engaging reps to present your brand to the best sales leads.


By combining these tips with our trade show lead generation expertise, you are in an excellent position to get hundreds of new leads, meet exciting new prospects, and even make sales at every trade show you appear at in 2023. 

If you're serious about trade show lead generation and want to maximize your lead collection next year, please contact us today and schedule a no-obligation consultation. We can’t wait to develop some exciting trade show ideas and see how our team accelerates your trade show presence.

Schedule a discovery call