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In a recent benchmark report by MarketingSherpa, tradeshows were ranked the fourth most effective form of marketing for B2B sales, right behind email marketing and ahead of webinars or virtual events. Of course website design and management and search engine optimization (SEO) came in at 1 and 2 on the list, but these too can greatly benefit the potential tradeshow marketing impact through the use of technology within the tradeshow booth.

Our long experience and expertise dealing with a wide range of wholesalers and distributors has enabled us to put together the ultimate list of must-haves for trade show exhibitors. Here they are:

1.      Mobile sales rep app We would be seriously amiss if we didn’t have this at the top of our list. Easy to use and with an average price tag of $50 a month – less than dinner at a fine restaurant – a good ecatalog/ordering solution with key CRM features clearly yields terrific ROI. Not only do reps take more orders, faster, at these hectic events, but there’s no typing up orders afterwards − saving more time.


Look for these capabilities in a sales rep app:

  • Multiple pictures per product
  • View attachments and video links
  • Ready-made templates to take orders quickly
  • Cross-sell and upsell
  • Syncs with calendar, emails and contacts
  • Offline mode so that poor Wi-Fi connection never disrupts a sale
  • Note-taking, including marking contacts that require follow up after the show
  • Assign and manage tasks on the spot
  • Wireless barcode scanning and printing of orders
For more information on the benefits of using sales rep apps at trade shows, click here .

2.     Eye-catching booth

Your trade show booth should be welcoming and visually appealing. Visitors should be able to enter easily and not have to stand outside or across a table in order to talk with your sales reps.

  • Use branded materials and signage
  • Minimize clutter: don’t overcrowd
  • Have cool, useful giveaways with to draw people in and give them a memorable souvenir. Put your name, logo and even contact details on them.
  • Create interesting, meaningful graphics, but don't go overboard. One large picture that can be seen from a distance or a short catchy slogan works better than long-winded banners.

3.      Top-notch staffSales reps need to look as sharp as the tradeshow booth itself, so they should be impeccably groomed and dressed. As they say, you never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Beyond a neat appearance, sales reps should:

  • Know how to read the crowd: Some tradeshow attendees are more receptive to a hard sell and some just want to talk. Your staff needs to be able to instantly tell the difference and respond accordingly.
  • Pay attention to people showing interest in your booth. Greet them with a warm smile to encourage them to open up and talk about their business.
  • Focus by using active listening techniques to qualify a lead.  Personal rapport can be generated by mirroring body language, vocabulary and speaking volume

4.      Tools & suppliesCome prepared to deal with a long day and with any minor or major emergency. These items can save the day.

  • Office provisions:  writing materials, scissors, rubber bands, paper clips, masking tape, duct tape, double sided tape, thumbtacks, safety pins
  • Basic tools and electrical equipment including screwdriver, pliers, hammer, extension cords and adapter plugs. Don’t forget your battery charger
  • Comfortable shoes with good support for standing for long periods of time.
  • Mini medicine chest with pain-killers, antacids, band aids, eye drops, throat lozenges and lip balm
  • Lots to drink as well as high-energy snacks: You don’t want to miss a potential sale because of hunger pangs

5.      Business cards Last − but not least − keep plenty of your business cards in a neat pile on a table that is accessible and easy to spot. Always have some in your pocket to hand out during networking conversations when you’re away from your booth. Make sure to collect business cards from your prospects as well: they are incredibly useful for organizing leads after the show. Trade shows are critical marketing venues. Whether you are preparing for your first  or your 40th, implement these tactics and you’ll be armed for success.   Author: Ofer Kfir Loves to talk about technology & tools for sales people. Evangelist at WRNTY and the #1 user of SupeRep™! Father,  professional skier and traveler.

About The Author

Stacey Woods
Stacey Woods
Stacey Woods is the Senior Business Development Manager at Pepperi. She has extensive experience in B2B sales and understands the many benefits that can be gained by automating and syncing the different sales channels in a company.