They can be tiresome, expensive and a drain on time and resources, but industry trade shows are an important way to stay connected with current customers and develop new relationships.

Yesterday, Promotional Consultant Today shared four ways to get the most out of your trade-show experience. Today, we’re sharing six more ways to drive traffic and secure sales.

1. Set appointments for people to meet your executives. Your executives will be there anyway, so put them to work meeting prospects and adding value to the discussions.

2. Give away cool promotional products that represent your brand well. Have booth attendees sit through a brief presentation to receive a $55 sweatshirt or a cool drone that flies using your smartphone. Why? You must educate ‘interest into need,’ and only people with ‘need’ buy from you. Interest is the counterfeit of need. Interest without need wastes more of your salespeople’s time than anything else. Interesting and compelling bait on the hook catches a lot more customers.

3. Be memorable, but be smart and relevant. Don’t pay for mermaids to swim in glass tanks in your booth unless they have something to do with your business.

4. Have your best lead generators at the event, and make it a game. Invite your reps to shows and watch for the ones who really earn their pay. The others can stay home next time. Have contests and set goals. Gamify your trade show for your sales teams.

5. Promote the event like it’s your own, because it is. Every year we drive hundreds of attendees to all the different trade shows we attend. We even will pay for passes for great customers, prospects or media to join us there. A rising tide floats all boats and you should give back to your trade-show partner.

6. Respond as fast as you can to all requests, and set appointments during the show. Every rep should be typing or scanning in business cards at the show or, at the latest, in their hotel room that night. Get back with people quickly. Even better, set appointments during the show so you are on your prospect’s calendar.

Try these tips at your next trade show and watch your leads turn into sales.

Source: Ken Krogue is president and co-founder of, a leading sales automation platform for inside sales professionals. He speaks at industry events, researches industry topics and his blog ranks first on inside sales.