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Trade Show Strategies: Ways to Get Bigger Bang from Your Marketing Buck

Ruth Stevens
Roy Young
Thu., Jan. 19, 2006, 12pm ET (9am PT)
90 minutes
This online marketing seminar received 4 star(s)

U.S. businesses spend somewhere around 18% of their marketing budgets ó $21 billion annually in aggregate ó on trade show marketing. Marketers often justify the expense with rationales like "We do it every year," and "Our competitors are doing it." Most companies have no idea what value they are getting for that investment.

Worse, many marketers tend to think of trade show marketing in merely tactical terms. Certainly there are a lot of moving parts involved; the logistics can be overwhelming. But for best results, trade shows also need to be considered strategically, as part of an integrated go-to-market plan. When it's soaking up nearly a quarter of your budget, you had better be thinking way bigger about this important element in the business marketing toolkit.

Using examples from HP, Northrup-Gruman, King Industries and others, this seminar will help you understand ways to get the most value from trade show marketing.


Ruth Stevens is author of Trade Show and Event Marketing: Plan, Promote and Profit, published in 2004 and The DMA Lead Generation Handbook, with a second edition published in 2005.

Ruth consults on customer acquisition and retention for both consumer and business-to-business clients. She began her direct marketing career in 1986 at Time Warner, where she spent seven years in marketing, new business development, and general management at Book-of-the-Month Club and Time-Life Books. She then went to Ziff-Davis as Vice President of Marketing for Computer Library, the electronic publishing division. From 1996, she spent three years in direct marketing management at IBM, and then worked in senior marketing positions at two Internet startup companies in New York City before starting her consulting company in 2000.

Crainís BtoB magazine named Ruth one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing in 2002. She teaches marketing to graduate students at Columbia Business School. She has studied marketing management at Harvard Business School and holds an MBA from Columbia University.

Who Should Attend?

Marketing professionals using trade shows for lead generation.

What Will You Learn?

  • How to set the right objectives, with specific, realistic metrics
  • How to select the shows that will give you the best results
  • Booth strategies: design, signage, staffing
  • The secret weapon: pre-show promotion and post-show follow-up
  • The 5 best trade show marketing measurement tools, and when to use them
  • The top mistakes trade show marketers make, and how you can avoid them
  • 5 case studies on what works and what doesn't
  • Offline and online event marketing resources

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