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  • Malorie Leonetti, Marketing Coordinator at NMI

Upping Your Tradeshow Presence

We’ve all seen a tradeshow floor – a maze of perfectly lined booths, banners and branded pens. With so many other companies around, it can be challenging to be seen and remembered by potential consumers, especially when you’re standing 10 feet way from your competitors.

This week, we’re digging in to how you can up your tradeshow presence, make your mark and drive new business.


If you’ve already registered for the tradeshow, chances are you know the audience already but dive a little deeper. Are these locals? People from out of town? Is there a primary demographic? Common interests or lifestyle preferences?

Knowing more about your audience is the first step to increasing your tradeshow presence. Treating every event the exact same, unless you’re a food truck with great tacos, isn’t beneficial for driving business. Put thought into how you can connect on a personal level, how you can capture their attention and show them that you really get them. People like to feel understood, especially if they’re about to give you their money.


There is nothing that says “I don’t care” like your booth employee sitting on their cellphone texting and not interacting with the people passing by. This is your opportunity to engage people with your brand – when they are popping in to check things out, give them a reason to stay and learn more.

People like to feel heard – make small talk, ask them about themselves and their company, make them feel relaxed and comfortable around you before jumping into business.


The “we’ve always given out pens and buttons with our logo on it so we’re going to do it again this year” line doesn’t fly anymore. Chances are, your booth neighbour is already doing the exact same thing. Go back to thinking about your clientele – what do they like? What will make them pop in again?

Our personal favourites?

  • Free or by donation (for a good cause) coffee services

  • Community art pieces that attendees can contribute to

  • Fun snacks that tie into your campaign or business hometown – everyone likes food.

  • Swag that they care about – we saw a company who gave out little colouring books of their company and a four pack of crayons because they knew their clientele had children


This is a salespersons dream – leads without the cold calling! People are literally coming to you; this is your time to teach them about what you do. Instead of just running through your typical elevator pitch, consider hosting a demo of your product or service for people to better understand what it is you do and why it’s beneficial to them.


Surprise, surprise NMI is talking about goals again 😉 but how else are you going to keep yourself accountable? Tradeshow goals can be simple – give out x number of business cards, run through your demo 20 times, collect information from 50 people. Try to focus on goals that will be help your business by providing leads for when you’re back in the office.

Give it a whirl, let us know what you think! Need some help gearing up for you next tradeshow appearance? That’s our jam! Give us a call or visit for more info.

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