June 16, 2023

Marketing Tips: Tradeshow 101

by Leyla Saad, North America Marketing Coordinator, Sensata Technologies

In my almost three years working as a marketing coordinator in the aftermarket, I’ve had  my fair share of experience coordinating tradeshows all around the USMCA! I’ve compiled some of my favorite advice to make the fast-paced tradeshow set-up process a little less hectic.  

Read below for some ideas on making tradeshow set up a successful experience for YANG your team.

The earlier, the better.

When it comes to tradeshow set-up, I firmly believe time is your friend. Try to get your booth materials ready as early as possible. Most events usually give you anywhere from a few weeks to a month to get your shipments sent in. I am a firm believer in sending things early to avoid the dreaded delayed or lost packages a day or two before a show. Give yourself breathing room, keep record of tracking numbers, and don’t be afraid to call tradeshow services to confirm your items have arrived.

Less is more.

I know what we marketers think, the bigger the better, the more giveaways the better, the more flyers the better! We’re all about maximizing our presence. But I have found the more items I sent to events, the more that get sent back. Recognizing the cost savings, environmental impact, and lighter loads on our team members are great reasons to cut back on our printing and sending of too many giveaways. Work to lower the amount you send out to tradeshows for a lighter set up and tear down process for your team! Utilize digital formats like QR codes, iPads, and TV monitors to help send a message while lessening your impact on the environment and increasing your ROI.

Stay organized.

Try to keep an inventory of your giveaways, print materials, and display items. Every few shows, take a review of your display items to make sure they are still in good condition or if anything needs to be replaced or repaired. Checking inventory levels and keeping your displays in good condition ahead of time will help you avoid the last-minute panic-ordering of new items a few days before an event!  

Constant communication.

About a week or two before an event, have a final touch base with your team to review the agenda and booth set up. Making sure everyone’s aligned on the details of the event leaves less room for miscommunication! At the show, encourage your team to send photos, texts updating on how the show is going, and any issues. You can then work with your team to find quick solutions at the show and make notes of improvements for next time. 

Pro Tip: Make sure to snap photos. Encouraging your team to take pictures of your booth set up as well as your booth representatives is a great way to build an archive for you to share with other team members and to look back on! This way you can see how your tradeshow presence improves and changes over the year. It also helps to have visual examples when requesting budget for new materials and improvements! 

Visit autocare.org/YANG to learn more about the community.
YANG Effect

Welcome to the new YANG Effect! Your one-stop quarterly newsletter for all things Automotive Aftermarket contributed to and written by under-40 industry professionals.

More posts
market insights with mike

Market Insights with Mike is a series presented by the Auto Care Association's Director of Market Intelligence, Mike Chung, that is dedicated to analyzing market-influencing trends as they happen and their potential effects on your business and the auto care industry.

More posts
Subscribe to updates

Want to stay updated on Auto Care Association initiatives, tools and resources?