There are many aspects to promoting and advertising a company or a product. The aim should be to target an audience that will find the product beneficial and necessary in their daily life. The marketing team can target many avenues.

Trade shows are one of the avenues that the marketing team can target. A trade show success rate depends on various factors, and the team can use this platform for advertising, selling, or gaining leads that can be turned into sales later. The focus should be to reach the trade show goals set by the company beforehand.

The exhibitor’s trade show will allow the team to display their products and services directly to the potential customer. These attendees attend the event to gain knowledge and observe products that will solve their everyday problems. Thus, this event is a great choice to increase sales and acquire leads. These events can be a great success for the company. The key, however, lies in the way companies define success.

How To Determine Trade Show Success

The success rate of a trade show is a subjective opinion. The company must determine its goals and objectives, and based on this, it can evaluate whether the show was a success. These goals will differ for each company and must be determined within the company’s direction of growth.

Foot Traffic

Foot traffic does not solely refer to the number of attendees that walk through the venue. Foot traffic refers to the number of attendees that pass the company booth. The company might have a great corner booth with high foot traffic in the middle of the venue. The opportunity to have an attendee enter the booth in one of the busier lanes is high.

The booth spaces in the higher foot traffic areas will sell quicker and might be more expensive. This is worth the financial burden. The team can stack up the leads and sell the products faster to the booth’s location and foot traffic.


Engagement at a trade show is critical. With attendee engagement, the company can save time and money. Sales members want the attendees to engage with them. This will allow the sales team to inform and educate the attendee on the products and the company itself. There might be a couple of questions from the booth fairs people, which must be answered to ensure more engagement. 

There are many methods to increase engagement in a booth. The first method is a giveaway that the attendees can join. The sales team can use a signup sheet to obtain leads and use the time to promote the business. Another method is to demonstrate the products and services in action. This will allow the attendees to visualize the benefits and perks of the company products.

Deals and Sales

A trade show event is perfect for testing new deals and boosting sales. The team can identify strong products they want to sell throughout the event. The idea is to increase the sales numbers or the awareness of a specific product or service. An experience with people will be critical when determining the sales rep for the booth. The team effort will be able to provide closed sales and future sales to the management team, which can lead to multiple appointment slots in the future. 

The key to a good deal is to pull the attendee into the booth and promote a product they will use daily. The product must be of high quality, and the potential customer must desire to bring more customers back to the booth. The team can adjust and change these deals throughout the trade show to ensure that they raise awareness of all their products and services.


Awareness is critical for a business. A booth can be a trade show display of the industry leaders’ products and services. Attendees can meet the team and the company at a trade show. The awareness will allow the attendee to remember the business when they need the products or services.

A potential customer will never need a company they are unaware of. Thus raising awareness and advertising the company through a booth is paramount. The sales team must be ready to answer and explain the company goals and values to any potential customer in the booth.

Contacts and Leads

Trade shows are well-known amongst companies as the event to gain contacts and grow sales team leads. With the high volume of attendees, sales teams can acquire leads and contacts of potential customers. The team can use prizes, fun games, or giveaways to attract customers and increase leads.

The sales team will later use these leads. The team will contact these individuals with a prospectus and list of the company products and services that will benefit the individual. The leads and contact details can be obtained through electronic devices such as tablets or written on paper. The key is getting an email address to ensure the team can connect the attendee to the company newsletter.

Win Rate

Win rate refers to the number of booth visitors that enter the booth to the rate at which they purchase a product or provide their details. If ten attendees enter the booth and four purchase a product, the team has a 40% win rate. This can be done per sales member or can include the entire team.

The win rate does not solely have to focus on the products sold. The team can use this rate to measure the win rate of leads into sales and contact details they have acquired versus the number of attendees that entered the booth. The win rate will force the sales team to chase numbers and improve their rates.

Lead Generation & Attendees

The team must focus on turning attendees into leads. The prospectus might not acquire or purchase any products at this time. This, however, could and will change in the future. The team will obtain their contact detail which will be used to send marketing content to them. The individual will be added to the newsletter to provide them with updates and new products.

Lead generation can be done in a variety of ways. The method is less important than the success rate. The sales team must decide on a technique. This can be changed if it is ineffective.

Check Out Using Conferences, Trade Shows, and Events to Generate Leads:

Observe and Evaluate Competitors

A trade show will have multiple companies displaying and advertising their products. This can be of great value to the business. The team can scout around and evaluate the competitor’s products and services they provide. This will give the company with competitors’ insight.

By observing the competition, the business can identify critical aspects they can focus on or improve within their strategy. This will allow them to gain more customers and improve their product listing to fit their attendee’s needs. Companies, however, should not solely attend a trade show to evaluate competitors. The main aim should be to gain more customers and improve the current strategies that exist within the company.

Analyze Expenses & ROI

A trade show booth can be an expensive marketing and advertising strategy. The team must set a massive budget before the trade show planning starts to ensure they spend their time effectively. The team must, however, observe and analyze the return on investment. This can be done by counting the leads or adding sales meetings for the entire trade show.

The original trade show investment must be worth the information or deals reached through the trade show. The team will all have to sit and evaluate the positive return and the goals set before the event. This will assist the team in adjusting their strategy for any future events.

Post-show Best Practices for a Successful Trade Show Booth

The post-meeting feedback and practices are one area that many need to remember. This part will provide the team with information from the attendees, planners, and booth staff to identify strong and weak areas of the booth. This will assist the team in finding the problems and filing them for any future trade booths.

The trade show coordinator will use this information gained through the post-meeting evaluation to improve multiple booth areas for future trades. The follow-up process will provide the major partners with knowledge through feedback, which will translate into action steps to increase the success rate of the booth. The team will have future opportunities to increase their marketing efforts through feedback and trade show experience.


How To Sell More At Trade Shows

The key to selling more is to have set deals only available at the trade show. This must be communicated to the attendees to increase the desired sale. The team can use catchy phrases or the smaller giveaway to draw the attendees in, which allows the sales team to make the sale.

How Many Leads Should I Expect To Generate At A Trade Show?

This will be influenced by the number of attendees and the booth location. The team can collect more than 20 leads at a one-day trade show. This can be multiplied by the number of days if the trade show is longer than one day.

Is A Trade Show Good For Small Business

A trade show can be an expensive expenditure for a small business. The benefit, however, is that the small business can advertise the company and gain leads that can be potential customers in the future. With enough finances, a trade show will significantly benefit the small business.

Final Thoughts

Trade shows produce great business opportunities to generate sales and leads. This event can build customer awareness and be used to display and advertise specific products. The key, however, is to ensure that the team is ready and has all the information and knowledge on the company and products to share with the clients. 

A trade show is a massive opportunity for both small and corporate businesses. The benefits are significant, and the downfalls are limited. Companies can invest time in finding a planner if the company does not have an internal event planner, creating the perfect setup for the entire booth.

Sabine Ghali

Kelly Murphy


Certified Meeting planner with 20+ years of event management experience, founder of ConferenceSource, expert in meeting facility sourcing & contracting in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Kelly will manage your budget as if they were her own, negotiating the best possible rate and hotel contract to benefit and protect every client and exceed all expectations for all planning aspects for sales meetings, educational meetings, product launches, incentive trips down to a small board of directors meeting. We make meetings easy understanding your meeting objectives and delivering meeting matched components.