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Expert Weighs in on Most Effective Strategy for Exhibitor Engagement

person seeing an email notification

CHICAGO — Robyn Davis, CPTD, Trade Show Trainer/Consultant and Owner at Exhibitors WINH LLC, held a webinar discussing the most effective ways to get exhibitors to open and read through emails from trade show organizers, which include showing the value of exhibiting at a show, timing emails to send when it’s most convenient for exhibitors and including clear calls to action. 

The first step show organizers should take when crafting emails to exhibitors is to know the numbers, according to Davis. She recommends resolving any technical issues and identifying other features the mailing system offers before sending any emails, such as segmenting.  

“Think of all the different ways your exhibitors are special, and put them into buckets, so that you can speak to each group individually,” Davis said about segmenting. “If you can’t send them to specific segments, maybe you can call out specific types of exhibitors within your email.” 

Specific and well-organized emails will help exhibitors to do the right things, like meet deadlines on time, and Davis says using bold or italicized words and phrases should be used to direct the exhibitor to the most important information for them. 

“We want to make sure every email you send is worth their time, and one way you can do that is to make it more interesting,” Davis said. “If you have exhibitors that are having success with ordering lead retrieval and using that in their booth, or paying for sponsorships, tell those stories. And include a link to how they can also take advantage of those opportunities.” 

Related. IAEE Webinar Provides Trade Show Organizers with Valuable Insights, Tips and Tricks for an Effective Exhibitor Survey 

Another major part of creating effective emails is to anticipate questions and to provide tools and resources for exhibitors. According to Freeman data, 64% of exhibit managers are new to their role following the pandemic, so Davis emphasized that responding in a timely and appropriate manner and being direct in what the exhibitor’s responsibilities are is critical. 

“I like to include extras in the email,” Davis said. “We want this to be in a very specific and timely way, like more tools and resources that can help them. If you’re talking about approvals for booth designs, maybe you include a list of designers. The more successful they are in business overall, and the more they can relate that back to you as being helpful, the more likely they are to want to be engaged in your show specifically.” 

To get exhibitors more engaged with emails from show organizers, Davis recommends using a mix of formats to deliver information, whether it be audio, video or screen sharing. She also says following up with exhibitors in different mediums, such as sending calendar invites for important deadlines, can cut down the amount of email reminders organizers have to send.  

Showing exhibitors that the show organizer communicating with them is a person too is also effective at strengthening the relationship between the companies and builds trust in organizers, and according to Davis, leads to exhibitors being more engaged with the content. 

Davis will be leading a multi-week program for more in-depth insights and tips on getting exhibitors to read emails for trade show organizers. Enrollment closes on June 21, 2023, visit for more information about the program. 

Reach Robyn Davis at 614) 657-7412 or 

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