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How to Improve Your Trade Show Marketing Strategy During COVID-19

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COVID-19 is preventing many businesses from attending trade shows in the near future, but there is hope that the fall shows will be on schedule. Either way, businesses are finding new ways to interact with customers and keep their brand fresh. You can check out some ideas in an earlier blog post

Despite the fact that large events are being canceled or postponed, you don’t want to ignore your trade show marketing strategy right now. At any time, things can pick back up, and you want to be ready. In fact, now is a great time to refresh your strategy and ensure it’s the best it can be. 

Below are the steps to follow when re-evaluating your trade show marketing strategy. Make sure you’re putting your time, money and resources into the right places! 

Assess Your Trade Show Goals 

Choose goals that are easy to track and measure. This way, you can evaluate the performance of each show you attend and make sure you are meeting your goals. Here are some examples of common trade show goals: 

  • Increase sales 
  • Generate qualified leads 
  • Learn about emerging trends in your industry 
  • Build stronger relationships with customers
  • Network with others 
  • Boost press coverage 
  • Unveil new products 
  • Improve brand awareness 

Review the Events You Attend 

There are over 10,000 events held in the U.S. each year, so you have plenty to choose from. Make sure you are attending trade shows that are helping you reach your goals and getting your products in front of the right people. Here are some questions to ask yourself: 

  • Does this event introduce me to a healthy selection of prospects? 
  • Is the show in a good geographic location? 
  • Does the show have a positive track record? 
  • Will the event help me reach my goals? 

Restructure Your Budget 

Trade shows are expensive. But there are ways to save without cutting corners. Typically, trade show exhibit space eats up 25%-35% of your budget. To save on these costs, sign up early to qualify for early registration incentives and to pick the best spot. In fact, do everything as early as possible so that you can get multiple estimates, nab better deals and avoid rush charges. You may even be able to shift your trade show budget around so that you have more to work with in another area. 

Train New Booth Staff 

Maybe your current trade show booth team is getting tired of attending events. While you want knowledgeable people at your booth, they also need to be energetic and friendly. Now is a good time to train new staff to take over the booth. You can recommend online training, videos and manuals they can study remotely. 

Research a New Trade Show Company

If you haven’t been happy with your current trade show company, there’s no reason to continue with them out of convenience. Now is an excellent time to research new companies and see what they can offer you. For instance, IGE offers turnkey trade show solutions that include the design, fabrication, storage and transportation of your display. Schedule a consultation with us! 


Without a doubt, COVID-19 is making things difficult for businesses. But things will eventually get better. In the meantime, use this time to focus on your trade show marketing strategy and how you can make it stronger. By the time the stay-at-home orders are lifted and business returns to normal, you’ll be ten steps ahead of others! Contact IGE to discuss your next trade show booth project.