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Trade Show Marketing: Attracting Trade Show Booth Visitors

Christine O'Kelly
Apr 17, 2008
Participating in a highly regarded industry trade show can be one of the most important marketing moves a business makes. With a well-conceived trade show marketing plan, business managers can generate industry buzz, make important contacts and most importantly sell products and services.

Maximizing booth traffic is the key to a successful trade show experience. More people means more opportunities to increase sales and meet trade show marketing goals. There are several trade show marketing tools that can draw participants to a booth. Remember, attendees spend all day in a convention hall walking from booth to booth. The most important trade show marketing strategy is to stand out among the crowd!

Customized Prize Wheel

It is hard to resist the temptation to spin a colorful prize wheel! A customized prize wheel is one of the most versatile and cost-effective trade show marketing tools that a company can own. Because the wheel can be customized to display any number of prizes, it is the perfect opportunity for a company to showcase their own products and services.

To most effectively take advantage of trade show marketing, attendees should fill out a contact card in exchange for an opportunity to spin the wheel. This often results in hundreds of contacts by the end of a show!

Money Blowing Machine

A trade show marketing tool that will literally stop people in their tracks is the money blowing machine. Envision a telephone booth with dollar bills and coupons swirling around inside. The sight of someone inside the booth madly grabbing all that they can in the allotted time frame is hilarious enough to stop trade show traffic!

As with the prize wheel mentioned above, it is important for a company's successful trade show marketing plan that participants register for a chance in the money machine. To reduce the number of qualified participants, it is possible to have participants spin the prize wheel for a chance to enter the money blowing machine.

An interesting twist on to gain booth publicity and boost trade show marketing results is to schedule a time for industry 'honchos' to participate in a cash-grabbing contest. Make sure that everyone knows to come back to the booth at the specified time to watch the spectacle.


When most people attend a trade show, the first thing they think about is all of the freebies! Unfortunately, most trade show marketing items seem to be cheap highlighters and flashlights. There are always those lucky couple of booths, however, that seem to be handing out the promotional items that everyone actually wants.

It is more than luck that brings the masses to these booths. It is effective trade show marketing! The best promotional items are the ones that attendees can actually use while they are at the show.

For example, a canvas bag with a company's logo printed on the side is the perfect item for attendees to carry around all of those other promotional items they are collecting. Its convenience means that participants will act as moving billboards as they carry the logo all around the convention hall.

Another trade show marketing item that provides instant gratification for attendees is custom-labeled water bottles or snacks. A cold bottle of water or a bag of pretzels is a welcome treat for people who have been on their feet all day. Guests will appreciate the offer so much that they will often stop and chat - providing the perfect opportunity to make connections.
About the Author
Christine O'Kelly is a trade show marketing writer and contributing expert to Advertising Marketing Articles an informational resource designed to help businesses attract trade show visitors.
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