5 Tips for Creating Unforgettable (and Award-Winning) Trade Show Experiences


JUNE 2015

Do you remember the first time you or your kids completed an entire Lego set all on your own? It’s a big deal! Building a memorable trade show experience is a lot like that—you just need to know how and where to use each building block.


I had the privilege of speaking to attendees at this year’s Healthcare IT Marketing and PR Conference (HITMC) about what we’ve learned through our experience in creating memorable trade show experiences with CDW Healthcare and others.

Here’s a recap of the building blocks I shared.


1. Know Your Why


“Create something that matters.” –Seth Godin

Why does your company exist? How are you making a difference in people’s lives? If you can distill your offer down to an emotional need, it will help you create memorable experiences.

When you think about trade shows, why are you exhibiting? Take time to hone in on clear objectives and decide up front how you will measure them.


2. Know Your Customer’s Why


What is your customer looking for? How do you know? It’s really important to listen to what your customers are saying. Social media is a great place to do that. And there are some great tools out there to help—TweetDeck, Hootsuite, Little Bird, Simply Measured and more!

What you’re looking for is where your company’s why and your customer’s why intersect. Build your trade show experience off of that.


3. Build on Past Experiences


There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Build on past experiences and learn from others. Stretch yourself! Take risks at every new show to find new and exciting ways to engage your audience. I think Exhibitor magazine is a great source of ideas for building a trade show experience.


Over the years, for instance, we’ve learned that games are an effective draw for the CDW Healthcare booth—so, every year, we look for new game ideas and ways we can improve upon the experience.


4. Create a Lasting Impression


We believe in doing simple things for the greater good. How can you build a buzz before the trade show even begins?

Every year before the HIMSS conference, we create a HIMSSanity infographic about HIMSS and the host city to get people excited. This year, we also created these Tweetable cards that paid off with huge social shares. These things don’t directly promote CDW Healthcare—they’re just a bit of fun that’s brought to you by CDW Healthcare. They make an impression that draws people into learning more and leads them to the booth.

CDW Healthcare at HIMSS15


5. It Takes a Village (and a Village Planner)


Putting on events involves a lot of people and a lot of details. First off, make sure you have a great plan. Once you’re clear on the process, pick your dream team. Find players who will contribute in a unique and significant way.


When you have a great plan and a great team, it really makes it an enjoyable process. You will definitely work hard along the way, so don’t forget to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of everyone on the team.

I really hope these tips can help you build your next trade show experience into something unforgettable and awesome!


Stacy Goebel

Stacy Goebel

Social Media Director

You know how excited Buddy the Elf gets about Santa? That's how social guru Stacy Goebel feels about new ideas. Her favorite is when she gets to think out of the box to build integrated marketing strategies for clients. Grateful 2019 HITMC Agency Marketer of the Year.

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