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MDG Advertising – Branding / Marketing / Lead Generation

When It’s Wise To Spend On Trade Shows

Online seminars and virtual trade events have emerged in recent years, but they simply can’t compare to the power of face-to-face marketing found at traditional trade shows. While the number of trade shows has decreased by 25% in recent years, new shows are appearing this year, discontinued shows are returning and attendance is expected to be up. For companies considering joining the trade show circuit, outlines timely tips on how to get the most out of trade shows for the least expense.

Identify Your Goal – Determine your purpose for participating in a trade show. A “contract” event involves selling product at the show, while a “contact” event includes networking and forming new relationships. Contact events are usually more successful for small businesses because it’s an ideal opportunity to meet people in-person then follow-up after the show.

Take Your Time – Trade shows can be large and overwhelming, so try not to do everything in one day. Devote one day to business development, one day to promoting product, etc.

Look Before You Leap – Get an overview of the trade show layout before it begins so you know which booths and events deserve your time. Focus your efforts by talking to the event manager in advance and requesting lists of past attendees and pre-registrants.

Make Appointments For The Event – Once you know who will be attending, set up times to meet key people to ensure you have the opportunity to network with them. The trade show atmosphere can be unpredictable, but an appointment assures that you’ll meet the people you want.

Meet With The Manager For Maximum Exposure – General managers of trade shows often talk to the press about new exhibitors as a way to generate coverage. If the manager can mention your company, you’ll may be exposed to exhibitors you didn’t have the opportunity to meet.

Save By Partnering Or Going Basic – Reduce the expense of trade shows by sharing a booth with a company that complements your business, but is not a direct competitor. Also, go minimal by buying a smaller booth and the fewest accoutrements necessary.

Keeps Signs Simple – People will pass your booth in a matter of seconds, so you want something that grabs their attention but doesn’t overwhelm with information. Limit your signs to a catchy phrase that describes what you do, and compelling tradeshow booth graphics.


Follow-Up Immediately – At the end of each show day, send e-mails to every lead you met, then follow up with a mailed thank-you. It’s alright to have a form letter, as long as you add a personal line that mentions your meeting. It’s a small gesture that makes a big impression.

Trade shows can have enormous value and lead to countless opportunities. Take the time to develop a trade show strategy that allows you to network with the people you want, promote your compnay and mine new opportunities. Armed with the proper plan, trade shows can open doors that lead to worthwhile business ventures.

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MDG Advertising is a full-service South Florida advertising agency, with offices in Florida and New York, that specializes in developing targeted franchise marketing solutions, exceptional online executions, and solid branding and media buying strategies that give franchises a real competitive advantage. MDG Advertising handles creative, media, and interactive marketing for Coverall, one of the world’s leading commercial-cleaning franchising companies, with a global network of more than 90 support centers and 9,000 franchisees.

Our core capabilities include advertising, branding, creative, digital marketing, media planning and buying, public relations, Web design and development, email marketing, tradeshow booth graphics, social media marketing and SEO. To view MDG’s franchise marketing portfolio.For more information, email MDG, call 561-338-7797 or log on to

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