Once you have booked your exhibition you need to think carefully about your pre-show marketing campaign to get the very best from the show. A strong pre-show marketing strategy can make all the difference to your return on investment.

Make sure your objectives include the following; how to attract attendees to your exhibition stand, how to make your products and services memorable, consider how you plan to interact with attendees.

People plan their visit to a show in advance and many visitors pre-register and look at the show website to decide who they want to visit. Some visitors may be enticed by the pre-show marketing they receive so you should be geared to giving them a good reason to be there and to put you on their must-see list. Generate as much interest as you can, don’t wait until the show starts. Take advantage of the marketing tools the organisers of the event provide.

pre-show marketing

Here’s some pre-show exhibition marketing advice:

Paid Advertising

In addition to the Show Guide, many specialist trade publications run features and previews in the run-up to a show. You could contribute a feature to tie in with the same marketing message you will be using at the show.


Mail to your own clients and prospects. Even dormant customers should be targeted – it costs five times more to get a new customer than it does to keep an existing one. Make sure you use any VIP passes from the organisers and offer these to your top clients or prospects

Social Media

Make sure you promote your attendance via your social media platforms. Social media is great as your followers are already interested in what you are doing. Also, check to see what the event organisers are doing on social media and link into this with hashtags.

Press releases

Prepare press releases about any interesting stand features. Look for free editorial opportunities and cultivate editors of trade press for reviews and articles and organiser’s newsletters.


Put a banner advert and a press release on your website and include a link to the show’s website where online registration is available. Make sure your name and details stand out on the show website listings.


You could mail or get your sales force to give out an incentive to attract people to the show i.e. an item that is incomplete without its pair such as one cufflink/earring or a pack of cards with the ace’s missing – use the ‘we hold all the aces’ line. Make these intriguing or exciting.

Complimentary Tickets

If it’s a paid event, use complimentary tickets supplied by the organiser to invite the people you most want to see there. Send them out at least one month in advance.

Pre-book appointments

If you can try to pre-book meeting on your stand if you have an area to do this. Try to get some commitment before visitors arrive at the show. Most attendees arrive with an agenda and you want to make sure you are part of that.

Phone hold messages and stationery

Put an announcement about the event on these items and include your stand number.
Use stickers on all possible paperwork, letter, leaflets, invoices, giving show name, dates, and your hall and stand number.

So, make sure your pre-show marketing takes into account who you want to connect with, how you are going to reach them and give them a really good reason to visit you at the show.