May 11

100 Tips for Trade Show Lead Generation

Lead Generation


Lead generation remains the top reason most companies exhibit at events and tradeshows. And B2B marketers are constantly looking for ideas they can use to drive more ROI from their events budget.

I came across this helpful post by Mike Thimmesch on 100 Trade Show Lead Generation Ideas that are worth checking out.

Tradeshow lead generation tips

The following is a sampling of Thimmesch’s tips that I thought were useful:

4. Go to fewer trade shows, but put more effort into booth staff preparation and promotions for each remaining show.

6. Track leads to determine and expand in the shows with the best ROI

9. Get a booth space closer to the hub of traffic, or by a bigger competitor

28. Have your sales people invite their prospects to visit your booth and set up meetings in advance

29. Send an email invitation to the show’s pre-registered attendee list for this year, and the registered attendee list from last year

30. Use social media to reach more attendees

32. Post your trade show schedule on your website with a link to sign up for appointments

45. Giveaway something useful to your target audience

46. Have a contest for attendees in your booth

More event marketing and demand generation tips

After reading the list of 100, here are a few more tips I would add:

  • Follow-up quickly after the event. Think about your follow-up process before the event happens not afterward.
  • Create event follow-up content pieces, talking points and email templates for your sales team to use to add value and continue the conversation in a relevant way rather than “pitching” everybody.
  • Develop a nurturing track that for event attendees connects with the theme or the content of the event. Try to do this at least for a few months at a minimum.
  • See the event as a conversation (or conversation starter), not a campaign. Don’t stop the dialog. Brainstorm ways you can keep the dialog going.

What other tips would you add to this list?

Related posts:
Lead Generation tips for Tradeshows Conferences

Generating Real Sales Leads from Tradeshow/Conferences

How to Improve Lead Routing to Skyrocket Sales Results

Trade Show Marketing: Tips for increasing prospect engagement

Trade Show Follow-Up: 5 tips to get better ROI

About the author 

Brian Carroll

Brian Carroll is the CEO and founder of markempa, helping companies to convert more customers with empathy-based marketing.

He is the author of the bestseller, Lead Generation for the Complex Sale and founded B2B Lead Roundtable LinkedIn Group with 20,301+ members.

  1. very useful post. Just want to say that i have been following your posts for long and i found all your posts very effective and informative. thank you for sparing some time and writing such useful articles for us.
    Keep writing like this. Best of luck!

  2. I would suggest to pick one that seemed to be a resounding success and another one that has been deemed marginally effective.

  3. I like your blog and your great article. That would be a really interesting tips for sales leads generation in business. Thanks for the update.

  4. It’s about diversifying your trade show marketing. I think if there are relevant trade shows that your company should be attending and they result in sales each time, you should continue to max out each show. Why limit your company in that way? I agree that you should put more into each trade show you exhibit at and make each one count. What if you limit your efforts for example to a single show that turns out to be a flop?

  5. Your blog is perfect, and I like this article. I find the information I need. I think I can find more useful information here, thanks.

  6. Less is definitely more…Love this “See the event as a conversation starter not a campaign”.

    Another one I’d add – More and more attendees are using location aware apps (Gowalla, FouurSquare tc) – list your stand on these for maximum exposure.

    Don’t stop the dialog 🙂

  7. Hi Hans,
    Can you tell me where you found your stat for the 88%? I’ve been doing some research and would like to share that with my management.

    Also to add to the list,
    It’s important to select your tradeshows and conferences well. Instead of going to the tradeshows and conferences in your industry, find other industries that you might be marketing to where your competitors may not be so likely to go but your business opportunities are high. For example, we are a consulting firm and instead of (or in addition to) our industry tradeshows, go to the tradeshows for our target markets where you will really stick out among the other booths.



  8. Brian:
    Thank you for the great tips on Trade Show Marketing & Lead Generation, highlighting a snippet of the first 100 you previously blogged about. Like Hans above commented, the real work…and ultimately business potential…may occur after the show concludes. I wrote a blog about this recently which may add to this conversation. Please check out: and let me know your thoughts!


  9. Great article! Excellent ideas!

    B2B marketing strategies will continue to challenge every professional looking for B2B sales. You either find a strategy yielding acceptable cost per new prospect and subsequenly cost per new customers or fail in the growth of your businesses.

  10. Excellent post. Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to write it! 🙂

  11. Hi Brian,

    It is nice to see Skyline is giving (very helpful and useful) tips about before and during a trade show. Because as soon as the show is over and the floor is cleared, the work of the exhibit system builder is done.

    I think it may well be that the real (marketing) work is starting after the tradeshow. Following up the leads, trying to keep people’s attention and turning suspects and prospects into customers.

    Did you know 88 percent of the people downloading information from your website is happy to hear from you within 24 hours? I can imagine the same rule applies for trade show visitors.

    Therefore your additional tips make very much sense.

    Rgds, Hans

  12. These two points really stood out:

    1) “Go to fewer trade shows, but put more effort into booth staff preparation and promotions for each remaining show.”

    Less is more. Focusing on having a more fine-tuned message used across all marketing communications, and having a well-planned strategic marketing process to reach your audience is vital and key to getting more for your trade show marketing efforts.

    2) “Follow-up quickly after the event. Think about your follow-up process before the event happens not afterwards.”

    Yes! The sooner the better. Some savvy staff follow up even before they leave the show. Think of ways to make your follow up as “warm” and useful as possible, so that the attendee appreciates your message.

    Thanks Brian for posting on this topic! 🙂

  13. Thank you very much for sharing your favorites from my list of 100 ideas, Brian. You rightly add to it 3 more ideas about lead follow up.

    Similarly, here is a blog post about the 5 obstacles to trade show lead follow up — obstacles not necessarily faced by other marketing mediums:

    Thanks again, and you are welcome to visit my blog anytime.

Comments are closed.

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