Marketing collateral is the collection of media and tools used to the support the sale of a product or service. The advent of the internet and social media has rapidly transformed the ways in which people market their businesses. Gone are the days of tri-fold brochures and handouts running the trade show marketing game. With the rise of digital marketing, a plethora of new media has joined the team to create a three-dimensional approach to marketing your business. Here are five types of marketing collateral (from both the olden days of print catalogs and the new virtual world of digital communication) you should be sure to implement at your next trade show.
It’s important to note that you should have your branding guidelines firmly in place before jumping into the world of marketing collateral. If you’re lost as to how to brand your business, check out our Top 5 Branding No-Nos for Small Businesses and Top 3 Rules for Good Design and When to Break Them. We also offer these services at EXHIB-IT!, so don’t be shy about giving us a call to help with your company branding.

For Your Consideration

Your marketing collateral should answer to the following questions:

  • What makes your business special?
  • What products/services do you offer?
  • Why should people choose you?
  • What makes you different from the competition?
  • How can people purchase what you’re selling?

Man showing business graph on wood table

Company, Products and Services Fact Sheet

Potential clients, customers, employees and media should be able to learn the basic, important facts about your company and quickly. A fact sheet is the perfect way to convey all of this information. Have a few variations: a serious, minimal design for the no-nonsense types; a fun infographic for the visual types; and something more substantial for the people that want to know the nitty-gritty of what your business does.

Giveaway and Business Card Collector

There’s a lot of noise surrounding trade show attendees. Besides a unique, eye-catching booth design, it’s important for companies to find other ways to entice traffic to stop and see the amazing product or service you’re offering. People stop for free stuff. Set up a little giveaway in your booth! Offer one of your products or a month’s subscription to your service. Attendees can enter by leaving their business card. After the show, reach out with a thank you for entering, celebrate the winner and offer more information about your company’s offerings.

SWAG (Stuff We All Get)

Again, people love free stuff. Tote bags, lip balm, paper fans (for summer shows), blankets or hoodies (for winter shows), pens, notepads, stickers, reusable water bottles, mobile wallets… the list goes on and on. Whether they need it or not, people will take it. And if your brand is correctly (or really at all) displayed on these freebies, there will be hundreds of people walking around toting your brand. (Pardon the pun if you go with the branded tote SWAG.) Make sure your items align with your company’s mission. If you’re a solar energy company, use recycled materials. If you’re in the tech industry, distribute customized phone charging cables. Be creative!
Barracuda 800

Banner Stands and Table Throws

Banner stands and table throws are an excellent way to brand your business at a trade show. They’re attention-grabbing and convey multiple messages about your business. Banner stands make a big statement without taking up too much real estate in your exhibit space. Table throws offer a cohesive way to brand your booth space. They’re also reusable and durable, especially if you take proper care of them.


Pre-Show Outreach

One of the easiest way to drive traffic to your booth at a trade show is to let people know you will be there ahead of time. Send a postcard or email, schedule a social media campaign or announce it on your website. Most trade shows will have an attendee list available for you to use to communicate with attendees. Be sure to give your booth number and build anticipation by including any fun specials or giveaways you’re having at your booth. Keep your outreach design in line with the general design of your booth to further foster brand recognition.

These are just a few ways to market yourself at your next trade show. Be sure to visit the EXHIB-IT! website for more ideas about how we can help your brand. Have you seen success using something not listed here? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to hear about them!

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