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Wouldn’t it be nice if you could pinpoint exactly which of your trade show marketing materials are generating real leads and boosting your marketing ROI, versus those materials that are falling flat?

Business leaders and marketers often funnel big bucks into their trade show marketing materials, only to be left scratching their heads about whether or not all of their valuable time, energy, and marketing dollars actually paid off in the end.

After all, you can try to track the amount of traffic your booth gets and keep tabs on how many flyers you hand out, but how do you know if that exposure made any real impact on your business success?

Want the highest ROI from your trade show marketing? These are the marketing materials to use.

Through our SmartMeasure service, SmartLink has tracked trade show marketing performance for a wide range of businesses and brands. Based on our insights, these are the trade show marketing materials that actually work, and the ways that you can leverage them to your advantage:

Booth graphics: banners, signage, and displays

At a trade show, your booth is your ultimate first impression. Your booth design should be eye-catching and immersive, luring audiences in with inspirational designs and state-of-the-art materials. Ideally, your booth should:

● Look good from all angles, both outside and inside
● Use bold, bright, unique colors and materials that attract attention
● Make your brand the focal point

From posters to banners to pop-up displays, your booth graphics can be one of your most powerful tools for attracting large audiences, encouraging prospects to take notice of your brand, inspiring conversations, and generating valuable leads.

Step and repeat banners

As far as shareability and reach goes, nothing beats a well-designed step and repeat banner. Event attendees love snapping photos in front of these backdrop-style banners, which can (and should) be heavily branded and uniquely designed.

That means that there’s a good chance that your branded banner will end up on various social media channels, and possibly even the event website (i.e. free advertising!).

Video demos

When it comes to catching the eye of as many event attendees as possible, video demos are one of the most effective marketing materials available. Whether you’re demonstrating your product, offering a behind the scenes look, or sharing the latest industry trends and insights, showcasing a short HD video on a TV screen or tablet is a great way to generate interest and bring more prospects into your booth area (and make them stick around).

Branded snacks and drinks

Given the long hours and rushed schedules of most trade shows, offering snacks or drinks in branded packaging is surefire way to attract serious crowds to your booth. That said, while you may see a large influx of people by offering food and beverages to tired, hungry, and thirsty attendees, you won’t necessarily see them sticking around your booth for that long.

If you do want to go this route, make sure that your packaging uses smart branding techniques. For example, include a QR code on your water bottles in case attendees who grabbed one without stopping to chat want to learn more about your product or brand at a later point.

Handouts and reading materials

servicesphoto_litho_320x213Flyers, pamphlets, and brochures are classic examples of trade show marketing materials. While they can be very effective, they also have a high potential of ending up in the trash can.

Inspire event attendees to actually read your marketing materials by using fresh designs and high quality printing, and by including content that’s actually relevant. Adding interesting, easy-to-consume content like infographics is a smart way to draw more eyes to your branded trade show content.