May 19, 2017

Gearing Up for Tradeshow Season

by Carrie Scheetz

It’s only May, but it’s never too early to begin thinking about how you’re tackling tradeshows this year.

Some of the fenestration industry’s biggest shows don’t hit until Autumn, and it takes months of planning to get the most out of your show floor footprint. What will your booth look like? What products will be showcased? Whom will you be meeting with? How many attendees are you sending?

At Quanex, we are big believers in getting a head start. We’ve also blogged pretty frequently about tradeshow preparations in years past. So as you get thinking about your strategy for this year, here is some of our best advice:

A Strong Focus Can Make a Big Impact.
A big, bustling show floor is a competition for attention, and not all organizations have the budget to grab eyeballs with big signage and a massive booth footprint.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get your message to the audiences who matter effectively. Think about whom you want to reach and how your organization can help them. A strong, focused message can help you draw visitors and potential leads. A new product launch can be a good point of orientation. Lacking that, leverage a strong, consistent theme that touches all points of your communications surrounding the show. Developing your theme well in advance allows you to tailor the entire experience around it.
Plan Your Communications.
Connecting with strong leads at a tradeshow doesn’t happen like magic. Yes, encounters that turn into leads can occur organically at a show… but it’s not sound tradeshow strategy to rely on this.

A strong communications plan surrounding your tradeshow presence, however, is. Interacting with your target audiences before and after the big event is just as important as your interactions at the show itself. Check out our list of tips for making the most out of your tradeshow communications. Also, tap into your sales team to ensure your goals are aligned. As marketers, it’s essential to be ready and equipped with the information the sales team will present to the high profile leads and prospects, in addition to knowing who these high-profile leads are. Although tradeshows are a “marketing function”, ultimately, we are attending to increase our sales.

Thinking about your communications ahead of time allows you to think through everything. You can develop messaging calendars around your theme, and then execute when the time comes.

Use LinkedIn To Your Advantage.
Face-to-face communications still reign supreme when it comes to networking, and that’s part of why tradeshows remain popular and well-attended events. But you can better ensure these connections are made by nurturing them through LinkedIn before the show.

LinkedIn offers a more personalized way to reach out to potential leads in advance of the show—especially those you want to make sure you connect with. Obtain a list of show attendees in advance, and use LinkedIn to contact them in advance. This can be best accomplished through the individual LinkedIn profiles of members of your organization that will be attending.
What are some early preparations you make for tradeshows? Let me know, or send any questions or comments to

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Posted: May 19, 2017 by Carrie Scheetz Filed under: communication, strategies, tradeshows