Planning Promotional Print Materials for Trade Shows & Event Marketing – Things to Consider


Hello and welcome back to the Marketing Tech Blog, where we provide helpful tips and insights into the many wonders of print marketing. The advertising game continues to shift day by day, but one thing is for certain, print is stronger than ever! Quality print marketing can be the difference between your next potential customer thinking a brand is the right one, and knowing a brand is the right one. With trade show season on the forefront, we wanted to take a few minutes to help you brush up on trade show marketing. So let’s look at trade shows and event marketing in 2024!

In-person events and trade shows can be a tremendous opportunity for earning new contacts, clients, and customers. Finding the right event to maximize networking potential is one thing, but planning on what to bring to the event is another.

Regardless of your industry, we’ve packed up a few key things to consider when planning for a trade show event. 

  1. Be Prepared
  2. Know What to Bring
  3. Trade Show Marketing Materials to Add to Your Booth

Be Prepared.

“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Ben Franklin said it, and we’re here to remind you. Plan out your marketing collateral as soon as you can. This includes planning on how much budget you have for the trade show, and more specifically, how much budget you have for print marketing materials. 

The bigger the event, the more booths you’ll be situated next to, and the more competition you have for attention. Consider the size of your booth, your entire exhibit, any banner displays or signage, and of course any sales and marketing material for folks to take with them.

What first impression do you want your brand to make when that person sees your booth?

Know What to Bring

Depending on you and your company’s experience level with trade shows, you may already have somewhat of a “go to” playbook of sorts. Just because something is the way it is, doesn’t mean it has to be the way it has to be FOREVER!

Get creative with your trade show impression. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on a good idea! We’ve seen so many unique examples of how a company can get creative in making an impact. 

Consider your competition. What are they doing? Don’t copy them, but don’t undersell your brand either. Not everyone wants to “go viral” or be “unforgettable,” you know who your ideal customer is, and that’s who your trade show marketing should speak to. 

Everything will obviously come down to budget, so plan accordingly. The earlier you plan your print marketing materials for a trade show the more you can save on cost. Waiting until the last minute can drive your price up. 

What do you and your organization want to accomplish by attending this event?

Trade Show Marketing Materials to Bring to Your Booth

At the bare minimum, you and your team should mandatorily have business cards, and plenty of them. A high quality printed banner, and printed sales brochures are also a usual necessity for any trade show team. Even if your budget only allows for these three things, that doesn’t mean you can’t still make an impact with just these three. If your business cards, banners or brochures have gotten stale, it may be time for an update. 

Business Cards

If someone shows up to a trade show without business cards, it’s best to send them home until they are mature enough to bring them. Just kidding, but seriously, gotta have business cards! Consider the impression your card makes. How does the recipient react when you hand it to them? Is it time for an update?

Brochures, One Sheeter’s, Table Talkers

Having a high-quality brochure can certainly help make an impact. You’re going to want to have something on hand that your attendees can take away with them, that highlights the key messages you need them to have and hold. Most people won’t be ready to pull the trigger on the spot, some may not even have time to initiate a conversation.

Table talkers or table tents are another print material that can be a nice benefit to dressing up your flat top table, and attracting new contacts to stop by.

On-page sales sheets and brochures can come in handy. They allow you to present your business and features and benefits you provide without the conversation. This helps to get your message to as many attendees as possible.

Banner Displays

What good is going to a trade show if nobody notices you’re there? Banners are a great way of capturing attention, as well as getting your brand large and in the attendee’s perspective. They can provide an offer, tell who you are, attract attendees to your booth, or just wish attendees well for a great event. Whatever impression you want to make!

Here are a few other print marketing materials you may want to consider including on your next trade show.

Business Postcards

Make an impact prior to the event beginning with a customized direct mail postcard ahead of the trade show. You can reach the audience with important details about where you’ll be, and any additional details you may want to prime your potential client with. You may already have a warmer meeting than you would have if you mail attendees a heartfelt preview postcard. Consider something that includes bringing/mentioning the postcard at your booth #XYZ for a special offer or promotional giveaway.  You may even be able to get an attendee list from the trade show organizer.

Branded Notepads

Branded notepads not only provide a useful tool for any attendee at a trade show, but they also give your recipient a nice reminder of who you are. A branded notepad can end up on their desk when they get home, and promote a call or further investigation of your product or service.

Custom Sale/Order Forms

The perfect scenario is meeting a trade show attendee who is ready to sign up, right now, so don’t be unprepared! Having a stack of printed customized order forms can prove that you’re not only ready to roll, but you’re organized and confident in your process. Not everyone wants to fiddle around with an Ipad in the middle of all the festivities. Having a seamless plan for signups is simple, so don’t be unprepared.

Promotional Items/ Swag Bags

The term “Swag Bag” came about a few years back, but this is the fun stuff we can print on just about any item you want. Custom branded footballs, coffee mugs, pens, keychains, frisbees. Whatever you want to print on, we probably can do it. People just love freebies, and the promotional items can certainly leave a mark on your attendee, and give their kid something to play with when they get home. A nice reminder of a fun experience at your booth!

We wish you the best on your trade show quests in 2024! We hope this helped you take a bit deeper look at what you could do with your print marketing. If you’re thinking about getting some marketing materials together soon, don’t hesitate to reach out via our contact form to get in touch with someone in sales today! We work with organizations all over WNY and beyond to help make their marketing memorable!


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