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A trade show planning checklist

Taking part in a trade show is a valuable strategy for marketing your brand. It offers a platform to showcase your products and services to a targeted audience, gain insights into industry trends, observe competitors’ strategies, and most importantly, create connections with both existing and potential customers.

Effective trade show planning is essential for ensuring a successful and productive exhibition experience. While trade shows offer unique opportunities, they can also be costly, so it’s important to plan properly.

This checklist will help you prepare for a successful exhibit:

Pre-Show Planning

Set Clear Goals and Objectives

Before anything else, outline what you would like to achieve. Are you aiming to generate leads, increase brand awareness, launch a new product, or connect with existing customers? Clear objectives will guide your entire planning process and help measure success post-event.

Budget Planning

Create a detailed budget that includes all potential expenses, such as booth space, design, marketing materials and giveaways.

Research and Select the Right Trade Show

Choose a trade show that aligns with your industry and target audience. Look at attendee demographics, past event performances, and competitor participation. Register early to secure prime booth locations.

Booth Design and Layout

Invest in a visually appealing booth design that reflects your brand identity. Consider factors such as layout, lighting, graphics, and interactive elements.

Make your booth inviting and accessible to attract visitors. At Essex Banners we have many event display printing options to choose from, from pop- ups, free standing light ups and fabric banners stands.

 Marketing Materials

Prepare professional marketing materials, including brochures, business cards, banners, and promotional items. Ensure all materials are consistent with your branding and convey your key messages effectively.

Brand Merchandise, such as pens, mugs and air fresheners are an effective way to increase brand visibility and customer loyalty. These items often serve as daily reminders of the brand, enhancing brand recognition and creating a deeper connection with customers.

Pre-Show Marketing

Promote that you will be taking part in the trade show. Use email marketing, social media, your website, and press releases to inform your audience. Offer incentives such as exclusive previews or special discounts to encourage attendance.

At the Show

Booth Setup

Arrive early to set up your booth. Ensure everything is in place and functioning correctly. Test any electronic devices, lighting, and interactive displays. Keep your booth clean and organised throughout the event.

Engage Attendees

Attract attendees with engaging activities, such as live demonstrations, contests, or giveaways. Encourage interaction by offering hands-on experiences with your products. Collect contact information from visitors for follow-up.


Take advantage of networking opportunities by attending seminars, workshops, and social events. Connect with industry professionals, potential partners, and media representatives. Networking can lead to valuable business relationships and media coverage.

Real-Time Social Media Updates

Keep your audience engaged by posting real-time updates on social media. Share photos, videos, and highlights from the event. Use event-specific hashtags to increase visibility and reach a broader audience.

Post-Show Activities

Lead Follow-Up

Follow up with the leads you collected. Send personalised emails, schedule follow-up meetings, and provide additional information as needed.

Prompt follow-up demonstrates professionalism and increases the chances of converting leads into customers.

Post-Event Marketing

Keep the momentum going by sharing post-event content. Publish a recap blog post, share success stories, and thank attendees for visiting your booth. Highlight key takeaways and future plans to keep your audience engaged.

Plan for the Next Event

Start planning for your next trade show as soon as possible. Use the insights gained from the recent event to refine your strategy. Stay updated on upcoming trade shows and book your space early to secure a good spot.


Trade show planning is essential for businesses aiming to maximise their presence and impact in their industry.

We are here to make your exhibit a breeze. Whether you need banners, customisable displays, or expert advice, we’ve got everything covered.

Contact us today and let us assist you in creating a standout exhibit experience.

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