To say that trade shows are important to the modern business is something of an understatement. Not only do an estimated 81% of all attendees have buying authority according to one study, but 99% of marketers said that they also got unique value from these types of events that they didn’t get from other marketing opportunities

At the same time, trade shows are not easy-to-master events, because there are so many brands competing for the same attention as you. Qualified prospects will always exist at a trade show, but they are navigating hundreds of similar brands, so if you want their attention, you must earn it. Therefore, the key to both trade show lead generation and unlocking the largest trade show ROI that you can involves preparation, preparation, and more preparation.


It’s All About Specificity

One of the most important things to understand about trade show preparation is that every show is going to be a bit different from the next. Everything from the venue to the city to the makeup of the audience itself will impact the larger show – which means that a “one size fits all” approach to preparation just isn’t going to cut it any longer.

Instead, you need to go in the opposite direction – cater everything you’re doing to the specific show and personalize whatever you can as much as possible. But without the right amount of preparation, this isn’t something you’re going to be able to do. Personalization is not just for email marketing or consumer marketing; embrace personalization in B2B marketing as well. There is a consumer in each of us and we all have the same emotional triggers.

Case in point: gamification. Yes, gamification marketing has long been a proven way to increase trade show engagement and build buzz, but to really help lower your cost-to-acquire and assist with lead generation, you really need to offer the type of B2B contest experience that people aren’t going to be able to find anywhere else.

Don’t just offer a generic sweepstakes or an instant win game – think about the specific audience that will be attending and build something from the ground up with them in mind (e.g. Custom SpinZone Trade Show Edition).  Not only will this improve your chances at success, but it will also make contest administration far easier because your audience is baked into the DNA of the experience – it isn’t an afterthought.


Master the Art of the First Impression

According to one recent study, our first opinion of someone forms in roughly 1/10th of a single second. You’re going to be making a LOT of first impressions over the course of a trade show, so it stands to reason that you’d better do whatever you can to make them as strong as possible.

Therefore, the trade show booth mentality becomes critical to your success – make sure that every member of your team understands both the makeup of the show you’re attending and what specific actions they must take to align your efforts with your long-term goals. They can’t just work well with people – they need to be armed with as much information as possible about the specific type of people who will be in attendance. This is how you seize the opportunity that a first impression creates and offer the type of engaging, emotional, and unique experience that will allow you to stand out from your competitors and shine.

Again, these are just a few of the key benefits that preparation brings to the table in terms of the trade show experience you’re able to offer. Every decision you make at a trade show must be purpose-driven – meaning that it should move you closer to one of your long-term goals as a business. Without a deep level of preparation leading up to the event, this won’t just be difficult, it will be impossible.

If you’d like a FREE consultation on gamifying your next trade show, please reserve a 20 minute window and our Gamification Strategist will show you some show stoppers that we have developed custom for specific trade shows.



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