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There are two good reasons to participate in a trade show. The first is lead generation and the second is awareness.

A tradeshow might be part of your growth strategy by helping your sales teams to generate leads. It might also be viewed as part of your awareness strategy to attract alliances, partners, potential buyers, and to awaken new regions. Whatever your reason for participating, all of your tactical marketing efforts, including tradeshows, should consistently be maximized for greatest results and should be integrated into your overall marketing and business strategy.

Maximization, Integration and Consistency is a wise marketing mantra to follow.

  • Maximizing your investment, time and outcome means thinking about your tradeshow as a process - not a singular event.
  • Integrating it effectively means examining how it plays into your overall marketing mix - your advertising, direct mail, sales tactics and your overarching brand strategy.
  • Consistency is what creates credibility and awareness over time and helps you to drive sales, attract partners, alliances, investors and even high caliber employees.

Your tradeshow process should begin by asking yourself these four questions:

1. Why are we participating in this show? Or, what part of our overall strategy does this fulfill?

2. Is the projected ROI worth the investment?

3. What outcomes do we hope to derive from participation in this show?

4. How can we maximize the affect of these objectives - even if some of our targeted prospects never attend?

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Michele Lando, author, is a principal at Skilset Communications, Inc. and is a highly regarded speaker on brand-related subjects. Her company also provide marketing solutions, such as the The Skilset Tradeshow Packageā„¢. She can be reached at or (626) 792.0032 x130.