Guide to Trade Show Marketing Materials

Posted by Half Price Banners on Jul 16th 2018

Guide to Trade Show Marketing Materials

What might at first glance seem like just a big get-together for all the players in a particular industry, a trade show is actually a valuable opportunity for businesses to gain exposure, acquire new leads and potential customers, foster partnerships with fellow organizations, and receive feedback on products and services. So valuable, in fact, that 26% of American SMEs already use trade shows as part of their marketing mix.

For any business attending a trade show, many decisions must be made about the exhibit itself. Since events such as these are such valuable marketing opportunities, it is important that attendees give some forethought to what they want to include in their promotional materials. Trade shows are limited time events, often with many competing lectures, presentations, and other booths that can garner people’s attention, so finding ways to capture interests in a short amount of time is key.

How do you stand out a trade show? Make your booth display one that attendees can’t miss by filling it with creative, branded elements that will draw a crowd. However, it can be tricky to develop unique trade show booth ideas on your own. Based on our extensive time working in the industry, we have compiled some top ideas to help you get started.

Here’s a list of the trade show marketing materials we’ll explore that you can incorporate into your booth to help stand out from the crowd and attract the right people:

  • Signage
  • Custom Table Covers
  • Video
  • Activities
  • Sign-up Lists
  • Business Cards
  • Swag

What will you create for your next trade show? Read on to find out.

Trade Show Booth Ideas

As we mentioned above, there are scads of ways to make your booth represent your brand and business in a fun and attractive way.

Here are some important items to include in your trade show checklist.


Let’s start with the basics, and our specialty, banners.

Having the right signage can make all the difference in bringing the right people over to you. Signage is the number one thing you can do to help others see you at the event.

There are several different types of signs you might consider having as part of your trade show display:

  • A large sign or banner featuring your logo, slogan, or both written largely and clearly can be a simple first step to getting your business name out there. Not sure what banner size you need? Check out our sizing guide here.
  • Another great type of signage to include are retractable banners. These popular stand-up banners are great for promoting a consistent branding message which you can use for an extended period of time, are easily portable, and can be made double-sided for easy viewing from anywhere. Place these next to your booth to help drive traffic inside.
  • If you have a new or popular product that you would like to promote, you might like to add multiple pieces of signage to your booth to better focus people’s attention on the desired area. A good option for this is a mini retractable banner. These small, pop-up banners are a great choice for highlighting or promoting items on the table, as they are made for more up close, indoor viewing.
  • Chances are, you’ll be using some tables in your booth to show off products, services, or give away promotional materials. A customized table cover can be a perfect place to put your logo to increase your brand cohesion throughout the booth. A cover can also help to visually attract passersby, and is super lightweight and easily portable to different locations.
  • Similarly, a fabric backdrop can be another great way to spark people’s interest. You can design a backdrop that features your business’ branding, or images and text that focus on a particular product or service. Since these can be seen from afar, you should try to include information that will entice people to come visit you.

The number one goal at a trade show is to increase your business and brand exposure. Having signage that easily conveys your business name, logo, products/services, and purpose is crucial.


Are there some things about your business that stationary objects can’t quite represent? Incorporating an audio visual element to your booth can provide an easy access point for people to engage with your business.

You could use a “how it works” video, that explains your business’ particular products or services, or a fun promo video you use online or on tv. Perhaps you could even incorporate an interactive element, such as a virtual reality headset, that can attract and intrigue attendees.

Video also provides a way for attendees to learn about your business in a situation where all of your business representatives are tied up with other conversations.


Not everyone loves making small talk –– give folks an opportunity to engage with your business in a fun and participatory way that attendees will be sure to remember.

A great way to get people stopping by your booth is to have simple games or contests. Ball tosses, wheel spins, corn hole, raffles, and the like are all simple to set up. Attendees could have an opportunity to win a big prize, branded of course, and all participants could walk away with a small prize of some sort.

Or, if you aren’t a game enthusiast, stick with an activity that most people love to do: eat. Have things like candy, cookies, donuts, or healthy treats that your logo can be placed on, so that those walking away with a sweet treat will also remember you.

Sign up lists

Face-to-face conversations can be excellent opportunities to capture potential leads for your business. Get a sign-up sheet or create a simple form on a tablet that visitors can use to put in their information before they leave.

Make it incredibly easy to sign up, and offer a clear reward or incentive so that people aren’t deterred thinking that they will just get spam email from you. You should also make it easy for them to get the information about your business specific to the trade show by creating an easy-to-remember landing page URL to give out.

Other Marketing Materials

Of course, this list is anything but exhaustive, and each idea can be twisted and molded to best fit your company’s brand and profile.

  • At the very least, people dropping in on your booth should leave with a business card. Don’t just use a typical business card, though. Make a fun or interesting design that is shaped differently, uses fun text, is colorful, etc. You could even add a one-time incentive on your business card that is easy to redeem from anywhere. You don’t want your card to just get lost in the shuffle after they receive it.
  • Find a way to put a new twist on an old favorite: swag. These little gifts from businesses can help make sure people remember them later on. Many businesses opt for standbys like t-shirts, hats, and pens, but you can always opt for other kinds of swag depending on your industry and brand. For example, you might want to give out swag that has a functional purpose, such as a bottle opener, key finder, sunglasses, playing cards, or other similar items that are unique. The goal is to stand out, so don’t be afraid to get creative!

Make Your Trade Show Display Stand Out

Whether you’re new to the trade show game, or even if this isn’t your first rodeo, it’s always a good idea to drum up some fresh ideas for your booth to make it an attractive place where passersby can easily stop and engage with you.

There are many ways that you can accomplish this, from clear and bold signage, eye-catching table covers, interesting videos, interactive activities, to a number of other innovative trade show display ideas.

No need to settle for just one of them, either. Mix and match different ideas to create a look and feel that best matches the style and brand of your business.

Ready to start making your next trade show booth the most memorable? Shop our selection here at Half Price Banners to start making the magic happen.

See you at the show!

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