by Alex Filmer

Are you struggling to attract exhibitors to your event? Do you find it challenging to keep them coming back? If so, you’re not alone. Many event organizers face this dilemma, but with the right strategies, you can turn things around and make your event a must-attend for exhibitors.  In this blog, we take a deep dive into how to attract exhibitors to your event via sales and marketing opportunities that you may not have thought of.

The following tips will help your exhibitors get more of the right buyers in their booth, develop higher-quality sales leads, and streamline follow-up.  Give your exhibitors the best opportunity to close more deals and get a return on their investment.

Attract exhibitors to your show, magnet attracting paper doll images, illustrating the magnetic pull of effective strategies for exhibitor attraction

Pre-Show Promotion

1. One of the key elements of attracting exhibitors is creating a strong pre-show promotion strategy. This involves using marketing tools that give exhibitors access to the right types of buyers. By providing exhibitors with the ability to identify and target potential attendees based on criteria such as product interest, geographic location, and buying authority, you can help them drive more traffic to their booth and increase their chances of success.


2. Sponsorship opportunities are another effective way to attract exhibitors to your show. Consider offering banner ads on the attendee registration website, dashboard, and confirmation pages. These ads can be tailored to different types of registrants, helping exhibitors reach their target audience more effectively.

Onsite Promotion

Once exhibitors are at your event, it’s essential to provide them with opportunities for onsite promotion.


3. Name badge ads, for example, can be a highly effective way for exhibitors to advertise their products or services to attendees. Also, with on-demand printing, the ads can be highly targeted. Ads can be served dynamically based on buyer type, meaning buyers who are looking for hammers, for example, will only see an ad from a company selling hammers. The number of sponsorships you can sell here is virtually limitless.


4. Digital content distribution applications are another great tool for onsite promotion. By allowing attendees to scan QR codes on exhibitors’ signage around the convention hall, exhibitors can automatically send attendees emails with their content. Exhibitors can also get a list of the attendees who scanned their QR code, giving them more sales opportunities. It’s exposure, content distribution, and lead generation all in one solution. 


5. Finally, a New Product Showcase gives exhibitors an excellent way to show off their new product while at the same time creating a fun experience for attendees. You can allow attendees to cast their vote for the best products and then share the results with the respective exhibitors.  This can be administered with QR code signage and a barcode scanner. Which in turn provides exhibitors with the contact details of the attendees who voted for their product thus giving exhibitors even more sales opportunities.

Onsite Sales Tools: Lead Capture

To attract exhibitors to your event, you need to provide them with the right tools to capture leads and follow up effectively.  


6. Electronic lead capture products are the modern form of capturing business cards, but offer 10x the value. Be sure your lead capture provider has a complete arsenal of products and services to address the needs of your entire audience: Smartphone app, Tablet rental, Kiosk rental, and API rental. These products allow exhibitors to capture lead information digitally and qualify leads more effectively, increasing their chances of closing deals. 


7. Sales lead information (which is provided to the exhibitor when they scan a badge with lead capture or an attendee scans the exhibitor’s QR code) should also include the attendee demographic details, such as product of interest, budget, and buying authority, that are captured during the registration process. This information is invaluable when following up on leads. 


8. Leads that are qualified are significantly more likely to close according to Industry studies. Make sure your lead capture products put a premium on lead qualification. Exhibitors need to be able to qualify leads extensively with their own custom action codes (ie, hot lead) or survey questions. Some marketing teams won’t even load a lead into their CRM if it’s not qualified. 


9. CRM systems are used by a massive amount of companies these days. Lead capture products should integrate with exhibitors CRMs, allowing sales lead data to flow between the two systems in real time. This allows the exhibitors marketing team to begin the lead analysis, targeting, and follow up process immediately.


10. Most exhibitors follow up on their sales leads via email, but the problem with this is it’s not fast enough, according to industry studies. An email follow up function should be built into the lead capture app so exhibitors can follow up immediately after they have a conversation with the buyer. It’s a known fact that buyers are more likely to purchase from the vendor who makes contact with them first.


In conclusion, attracting exhibitors to your event requires a multi-faceted approach that includes strong pre-show promotion, engaging onsite promotion tactics, and effective onsite sales tools. By providing exhibitors with the right tools and opportunities, you can help them attract more attendees to their booth, generate higher-quality leads, and ultimately, achieve a higher return on investment. So, next time you’re planning an event, remember these tips and watch as exhibitors flock to your event. We hope you found these tips and techniques useful and are able to put some of them into practice for your next event. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us at

Check out our related blog posts

What is Lead Capture, and How Can it Benefit Trade Show Exhibitors?

What Lead Retrieval Will Look Like Post-Pandemic

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