4imprint, LLC

4 min read

Think of your trade show sales pitch like a super-short commercial that highlights what makes your company special and why people should work with you. The average person’s attention span is about eight seconds, so your pitch needs to be short and sweet. Often called an elevator pitch, the idea is that if someone meets you in an elevator and asks about your business, products or services, this is what you’d want them to hear before parting ways.

Trade show attendees visit booths with music, lighting and games.

An effective elevator pitch can establish the right expectations for any situation or relationship. You can use it when approaching leads, pitching new clients or introducing yourself at trade shows.


The key is knowing what information to include in your elevator pitch, how much time you have to deliver it and how to best deliver your message, so people are more likely to remember you. Here are five steps to create a perfect trade show sales pitch.

A man visits a trade show booth where a woman gives him a bag full of branded promotional products.


1. Know your value

When a prospect stops at your booth, highlight your best qualities. Then tell them what’s in it for them and why they should pay attention to your brand over any other.


Build your elevator pitch around the value that your product/service provides. To do this, you must know what that value is and how to describe it clearly. Train trade show staff so they understand the specific values your audience will receive from your brand, products and services.


2. Keep it short

You want people to remember what you said without overwhelming them with too much information. Keep things simple and concise and save the details for later. Remember, attention spans are short, so keep your trade show pitch short too. Around 30 seconds is a good target.


Staff giveaways can serve as a friendly reminder to keep pitches short. Choose items that help keep time, like a leather watch, desk clock with pen cup or wireless charging desk clock.


3. Use action verbs

Use active words so your pitch is persuasive rather than passive or vague. And back your pitch with facts. Instead of saying, “We have helped numerous companies reach their goals,” say “Our product increases customer sales by 5% or more.”

Action verbs give your words immediacy and convey color and passion.

An active voice will also engage prospects and help them see themselves in what you’re describing.


4. Make it interesting

An interesting trade show pitch catches attention—and holds it. Spice up your pitch with a fun fact about your company. Slip in a funny reference your audience will understand. End your pitch with a question about your customer’s needs. When your pitch is interesting and customer-focused, people will feel more comfortable and willing to connect after the show.


Fun staff giveaways, like a quirky stylus pen, goofy stress reliever or smiley cell phone holder, can remind staff to not take themselves too seriously and have a little fun with their pitch. Bonus—they double as great trade show swag.


5. Talk about benefits

A feature is just a feature if it doesn’t come with an obvious benefit.

One study found that 99% of the highest performing brands use headlines that talk about benefits.

On the other hand, only 35% of headlines used by the lowest performing brands talk about benefits. Apply the same logic to your trade show sales pitch. Talk about how your product or service will make your customers’ lives easier. For example, rather than saying “We provide health care services,” say “We help people live healthier lives.”


Many companies help other organizations improve their bottom line. While that’s certainly a benefit to include in your pitch (if relevant), think beyond profits. For example, does your service free up enough time that they gain back a whole day? Or does your product make their biggest headache go away?


Hone your trade show pitch

With these five steps to create a perfect trade show sales pitch, you’ll easily make every minute count, score more leads and see greater recall. Best of luck!

Key Takeaways

  • Attention spans are short so keep your pitch under 30 seconds
  • Choose active words
  • Use humor, questions and fun facts
  • High performing brands include benefits in headlines