How do you determine your unique selling proposition for trade shows?

I’m often asked about the best way to determine your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for a trade show booth. Simply put, how do you quickly grab someone’s attention and show them how you’re different than the other guy?

Wikipedia has quite the in-depth definition, which you can see at this link. I prefer to summarize it in layman’s terms:

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • How can you help someone (better than everyone else)?

Write down the answers to these 3 questions and you’ve now started to determine your unique selling proposition.

To successfully convey your USP at a trade show, you’ll need to focus a few steps:

1.) Design your trade show graphics to answer the 3 questions listed above.

2.) Create a pre-show marketing campaign to peak interest and give prospects a reason to stop by and hear about your USP (a drip-marketing campaign before the show).

3.) Train booth staffers to ask the right questions and provide information that conveys your USP.

4.) Tie together at-show and post-show campaigns to expand upon your USP message.

5.) Give booth staffers a “go or no-go” option when engaging with prospects — Is this someone we want to meet with soon? If so, scan the badge and agree upon a next step (such as a phone call next Monday to schedule a meeting). If not, should we scan the badge and add to our B or C lead list (they might need more nurturing).

So, determining your USP for a trade show doesn’t have to be a scary and arduous task. With time, focus and input from your team, you can easily develop a strong USP!


Written by

Michael Flavin sells St. Louis Trade Show Displays, St. Louis Trade Show Booths and Trade Show Displays in St. Louis MO. He has 9 years of trade show industry expertise and 14 years overall in design, sales & marketing.