Growth Tips: Trade show offers that work

Be sure to focus on attracting only ideal prospects.

I attend trade shows to keep my eye on what’s going on in the world of manufacturing. Trade shows are not getting any less expensive, yet I see the same mistake being made by exhibitors with disturbing regularity: they stray from what they should be selling with their special show offers. Indeed, you will often see them trolling for prospects with a draw for a free iPod or iPad; or all-expenses-paid trip to an exotic destination.

When planning your trade show offer, be certain it only attracts ideal prospects.

For example, if you are in the circuit board business, promote a draw for $5,000 worth of free circuit board assembly services. This will attract only those in need of such services. Make your draw, select a winner, then mail a letter to all of those who did not win and offer them $1,500 off their first $10,000 job with your company.

This will add to the trade show pay off. Before you know it, you’ll be able to take that vacation yourself, along with a new iPad.

Andrew Shedden is an industrial marketing consultant who helps manufacturing and industrial (B2B) CEOs obtain rapid, sustainable, profitable and guaranteed growth. For free business growth resources visit