Pre-IMTS Marketing Strategy


With IMTS around the corner, there is no better way to get exposure to your ideal client and meet new prospective clients. But with McCormick Place over packed with flashy competitors with expensive booths or if you didn't get the prime booth location, your ideal client may overlook you. 

You want to be able to guarantee your maximum ROI for all the time and money your organization spent between booth, preparation, travel arrangements and giveaways plus the tremendous amount of person hours. It is essential to start directing your clients’ and potential clients’ attention to your booth as early as possible.

Most people are unaware but statistic show over 65% of people attending a trade show plan ahead the brands and booths they want to visit. They do this way in advance of the trade show itself.  At the same time, less than 15% of exhibitors have a marketing plan or invest time and effort in pre-show marketing. Some may put out a random email campaign telling customers they will be at the show, and that is about it.

Here is a six week strategy to make
sure you get the right traffic to your booth.

6 Weeks Out: Mail Greeting Card


This is an overlooked but important activity and most people disregard this useful marketing tool, but you can reach out in this more traditional way about your upcoming event.  In a world that is becoming more digital receiving mail is refreshing and will make a statement to your clients. Make sure your postcards printed are in unique shapes and designs. The goal is your organization and their products or services are in people’s minds a few weeks in advance of the start day. This will give them a chance to start planning their visit to your booth. Regarding timing, it is vital to have the postcard design finalized 10 weeks ahead of the show then plan 1 to 2 weeks of printing, 1 week for labeling, and 2 to 5 days in transit.

5 Weeks Out: Video Email

If you have not used video email before this is the right time to start because video is one of the most common and most well received ways to communicate. This tool can massively increase your client attention and engagement. Video email provides essential benefits that enhance your image as well.  Size matters and your video should be between 30 to 90 seconds, with the sweet number being 60 seconds. The reason is a 60-second video can be posted on multiple platforms. Also, and this is essential, make sure to place a clear and simple call to action at the end of the video.

4 Weeks Out: Personal letter


Another oldy yet effective strategy is the personal letter. It is an underestimated form of pre-show marketing. I can almost guarantee your letter will be read and at this point people are committed to attending and have expended a significant amount of money to make this event happen. So at this point they will read anything related to the trade show. Make sure your letter is crafted to drive people to your booth for the first and second day and make their experience one that will stand out; most people are burnt out by the third day and have an overwhelming number of stress balls and pens and those rubber chicken lunches or 9 dollars pretzels you can find in these trade shows. Make them an offer they cannot refuse. 

3 Weeks Out: Email link to a landing page.

This email and the landing page are essential for everyone and especially for small companies. Creating this page will provide information about your booth and times team members will be available or key events taking place.

As a best practice, create a landing page that provides detailed information about your booth at the conference. Adding this link will take the recipients to a designated page you create specific for the trade show. Make sure to add details of how to find you and how they can book an appointment. Small companies usually send most of their personnel to big trade shows, Giving clients a landing page gives them an advantage so people can easily get in touch with you while your team is busy at the show.

2 Weeks Out: Call

At this point, you should have a list of clients and prospects attending the tradeshow. Call them to invite them to meet with you or your team at your booth or if you having a special event or showing at a set time, make sure they know you would like to see them. Try to get a verbal commitment from them and follow up with your personal email confirming the appointment. If your prospects fail to make it to their appointment, it’s an excellent excuse to contact them again.

1 Weeks Out: Email Reminder

These should be short and sweet, the objective of this email is to help your audience have all the info they need to find you in one place. Make sure you give them clear directions and make sure you highlight the opportunities attendees might get for visiting your booth.


In the insanity of booth design & preparation, travel arrangements, and logistics. pre-show marketing often gets lost.

To be flourishing at your next trade show and have the best ROI possible, these steps will help you drive qualified traffic to your booth. Getting in touch with your ideal clients and new prospective ones in advance can make a world of difference. 

If you have any questions about pre-show marketing or trade show marketing in general, please feel free to contact us we know IMTS can be overhelming we have experice with the show.