A Productive and Successful Trade Show Needs to be Remarkable

by John Bonini on June 27, 2013

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A Productive and Successful Trade Show Needs to be RemarkableThe foundation of making your trade show inbound is creating a unique campaign that is built around the show itself. You want to come up with something new, remarkable, exciting and fresh.

What’s everyone else expected to do at the trade show? Don’t do that.

You need to stand out at the trade show among the other businesses. There will be rows upon rows of other vendors, all with similar booth setups. Sure, there’ll be a company logo. A table with some smiling faces handing out pamphlets and key chains. How cool. And boring.

The biggest question you want to ask yourself is, how can you grab someone’s attention, and be the one that everyone is left talking about?

Here’s how you can be more remarkable at your next trade show.

Be More Remarkable at Your Next Trade Show

Flag Item

Do you remember the company that was handing out branded pens and key chains?

Well…neither does anyone else.

Do we really need another branded key chain? Of course not.

You want your flag item to be the talk of the trade show, but also, you want it to tie in to the overall campaign you’re executing at the trade show.

For instance, we recently attended a trade show where the overall theme centered on becoming a “Marketing Rockstar.” Our cool flag item? Foam fingers in the form of the “rock horns.”

As you can imagine, these aren’t easy to conceal. As a result, a large volume of traffic was driven to the booth looking for these foam fingers. It created buzz. It started conversations. It was different.

Your flag item is a great way to start a meaningful conversation with attendees. Don't miss the opportunity to engage and interact with those individuals because you decided to take the branded key chain route.

Most importantly; it worked.


If you’re looking to stand out among the other vendors, it’s also important to consider not dressing like them.

Suits. Ties. Dress shoes. They’re everywhere. Most trade shows look like an advertisement for Mens Warehouse.

Coordinate your wardrobe with your marketing campaign. It gives your passersby a reason to look at you and ask why you’re dressed like that, and gives you a chance to talk about your campaign. It makes you more approachable. Instead of going to them, they’re coming to you. That’s inbound marketing.

Keep it consistent for everyone who attends from your company. Everyone should match. Consistency is impressive as long as it stands out.

HubSpot does bright orange tracksuits at their tradeshows.  If your industry supports it, stand out. Be different.

As marketing expert Seth Godin says, “playing it safe is risky.


This may sound silly, but at your next trade show, try making your booth….not a booth.

Focus on creating an experience. Create a centerpiece or something that your visitors can interact with.

Set it up different than everyone else, and make it a place that people will want to be. Again, this should all tie in to the campaign that your trade show is built around.