Trade fair marketing

This is how you address your exhibitors and visitors in order to convince them

Challenges and goals of a trade fair

A trade fair is basically an exhibition of various services and products. There are a variety of reasons why a brand or company wants to participate in a trade fair. In most cases it is about the visibility of the brand and the presentation of their products to potential customers and partners. In fact, some trade fairs are so large that in some cases they only serve a niche. Take CeBIT, for example, the largest single exhibition of its kind, which only allows exhibitors to present computers, other IT equipment or software. It takes place annually in Hanover and attracts all major IT companies such as Microsoft, Salesforce and Telekom, to name just a few.

Another reason why companies are eager to gather in one place is to get ideas and insights. If a company can show remarkable progress, it could open a door for other companies, open up new business opportunities and move the industry forward. It is clear, however, that the fair will also be used to closely monitor competing companies and derive measures to gain a competitive advantage.

In isolated cases, however, the trade fair can also be so varied that exhibitors and partners operate in different sectors.

Bringing together so many interest groups in one place brings challenges. As organizer you have to convince sponsors to invest in you. On the other hand they have to promote the fair together with you. Sponsors help to define the vision associated with the event. What does this mean? The appearance of the fair must appeal to the desired target audience, be it exhibitors or visitors. In the best case, sponsor and exhibitor share the same target group in order to participate from common contacts. According to the slogan ''together we are stronger'', each of the parties must gain an advantage. In short, the North Star for the sponsor is the increase in reach.

The exhibitors, on the other hand, set themselves goals that they want to achieve in the short term. They are therefore looking for a platform that gives them the presence they need to promote their company or product. The aim for you as an organizer is to inspire the exhibitor. They like to be persuaded, but if they notice that it doesn't bring any added value, they have no problem canceling for the following year. So it means ''to perform''!

How to convince exhibitors of my fair

It is obvious that there is no trade fair without exhibitors. They are just as important for the success of the fair as the participants of the event. One of the first elements the exhibitor pays attention to are the partners and sponsors on board. In most cases, this factor provides an indication of the success of a trade fair. It is not necessarily a logical step, but when a major brand invests in a trade fair, it creates an image in the minds of those involved that it will also be successful. Usually the sponsors are part of the planning committee because of their financial commitment. In return, they demand an exhibition space or other opportunities to position themselves in a similar way as exhibitors do. In summary, the two parties have similar goals that need to be satisfied!

It is quite simple: Offer this possibility to both parties and differentiate only within the scope of the advertising space. In return, demand different fees for each.

To be specific: what are the points that have to be considered in order to convince the exhibitor?

eventbaxx – digital fair bag for communication with participants
eventbaxx – digital fair bag for communication with participants

How do I convince participants of my trade fair?

The Visitor centricity mindset is particularly important here. If you look at it in detail, the visitor generates the least turnover for the organiser. Nevertheless, it is an important factor for the fair, because the right visitor is essential for the exhibitor and partner. Therefore, it should not only be the organiser's task to attract visitors to the fair, but also to a certain extent that of the exhibitors. The big brands, which also have a large reach, are particularly in demand here. If you look at the scenery from a bird's eye view, you are taking a huge step towards success if you can win large companies as exhibitors. This fact shows once again the interaction of the four parties organizer, sponsor, exhibitor and participant.

As a result, social media campaigns such as hashtags can be used very well to increase the visibility of the trade fair even further. One trend here is towards appearances/concerts. CeBIT has already engaged German artists for several years to transform an evening at a trade fair into a concert hall. On the one hand, the advantage is that the visitors have a unique experience on site, share it via social media and, on the other hand, increase the reach of the event. You can't get better advertising, which is also free at that moment. The budget for the performance can also be negotiated here on the basis of the reach. It is especially important to the artist that his album or tour is sold out. Advertising here therefore with an increase of its reach, less with money.

You realize that the key word here is digital reach. What does it mean in concrete terms for your actions?


A trade fair is a cooperation in which all the organizers, sponsors, exhibitors and participants are actively involved in determining its success. There are a number of other factors that also play an important role in the success of the event. Read more in our article The success of a trade fair.