Generate Leads from a Trade ShowTrade Shows can be a great source for valuable leads, especially if you properly prepare and follow-up.  Because you have the opportunity to speak to people in person and get them onsite, the leads you do come up with are “warm” or even “hot”. Take a look at these Dos and Don’ts to help you generate leads from a trade show. Make your next show a sales and marketing success!


  1. Develop a pre-event promotional plan

    1. Creating an email campaign and social media promotional campaign before the event can alert existing and potential customers about your presence at the trade show. Using the shows hashtags will introduce attendees, that may not be aware of your company, to your company.
  1. Design a Welcoming Trade Show Booth

    1. Your booth will be many people’s first impression of your company. Make sure to make it visually appealing with enough room for attendees to enter your space. Trade floors, and especially walkways, can be crowded. Often if there are people crowded in the hallway in front of your booth, other attendees will be less likely to approach so that they are not overcrowded. Make sure that there is plenty of room for attendees to move around your booth so that they can relax and talk to your sales representatives, outside of the crowded walkways.
  1. Invest in Lead Scanners or a Data Collection Tool

    1. It can be overwhelming to collect contact information from leads when there are several people at your booth at a time. While you can collect leads by collecting business cards, or a sign-up sheet for a drawing, a lead scanner can streamline the process. They are fairly easy to use, and range in cost but can help your sales team collect leads easily and move on to talking with other attendees.
  1. Give Out Irresistible Swag

    1. A great way to maintain top-of-mind awareness with potential leads is to give out swag at your booth. Swag is a free promotional item that is given to attendees that has your company logo on it. Pens, tote bags, calculators, t-shirts, and anything that your attendees may use on a regular basis, are good examples of trade show swag.
  1. Hotel and Chair Swag Drops

    1. In addition to giving swag at your booth, many trade shows offer the option of giving swag to attendees in different locations, such as the back of chairs at a speaking event or in attendee’s hotel rooms. Some shows offer exhibitors the option to include your swag in a bag that is left on each chair during a seminar at the show, called a Chair Drop. An additional option of a Hotel Drop, or leaving a swag bag in attendee’s hotel room, might also be an option. These prices will vary based on the show and the locations, but hotel drops and chair drops are worthwhile options to consider.
  1. Plan an Event Around the Event

    1. If you have a larger budget, you can plan your own event in addition to the event. A Pre-show dinner for hand-selected guests based off of the exhibitor list is a great way to personally connect with qualified leads outside of the trade show. Just make sure that it doesn’t coincide with any other trade show related events.
  1. Make Sure your Sales Team Uses Positive Body Language

    1. No one wants to approach the booth where someone is sitting down looking at their phone or ignoring attendees. Make sure that your sales team exemplifies a welcome environment so that attendees are encouraged to visit your booth. Try not to cross your arms, sit, or look unhappy, no matter how long you have been working the booth.
  1. Have the Best Team at your Booth

    1. The best way to generate leads is to have a great sales team on hand. No-matter what you do before the show to generate leads, if your sales team can’t close the deal, you won’t generate the leads. Make sure that your team is prepped with a few key discussion points about your company and the products or services you are showing so that they are able to easily talk to attendees and gather their contact information.


  1. Eat

  2. Drink

  3. Talk on the phone

  4. Work on a computer

  5. Input leads while other potential leads are waiting to talk to you

  6. Leave the booth unattended during show hours

  7. Forget your nametag

  8. Wear uncomfortable shoes

  9. Wait for attendees to come to you- Be proactive and go get some leads!

Successful trade shows are part of an integrated marketing plan will help ensure that your business is marketing to the right people. Marketing Influence creates marketing programs that are customized to your goals and budget. Connect with us now to learn more about how we can help you reach your target demographics through a variety of marketing programs including trade shows.