Your landscaping trade show planning guide

Trade shows are a fantastic opportunity to showcase your landscaping business, network with industry professionals, and learn about the latest trends and innovations.

However, they can also be overwhelming without proper planning. This guide provides a comprehensive checklist to ensure you’re fully prepared to exhibit for your next landscaping trade show.

Whether you are just attending or you’re exhibiting, the tips below will help you make the most out of the landscaping event.

Pre-Show Planning

There are several things to consider before you go and show up face. Attending and exhibiting events are expensive. Because if you are exhibiting, you’re paying a lot of money to rent a chair and a table for 2 days.

Careful pre-planning helps you get the most out of the budget and the landscaping event for your company.

The planning should ideally start before 3 months (90 days) before any event. If you’re late, use this guide to plan and then find ways and means to achieve your goal in the limited time frame.

1. Define Your Goals

What do you hope to achieve from the trade show?

Whether it’s generating leads, launching a new product, educating fellow professionals as a speaker, or strengthening brand awareness, having clear objectives will guide your planning process.

List your selling or non-selling objectives and remember to keep networking higher up the list. Even if you do not make a sale, those industry relations you nurture after the show will help you grow your business.

Goal examples:

  • Networking/nurturing existing relationships
  • Exploring new tech and innovations
  • Sales
  • Launch a new product or service
  • Position yourself as a player in the market in the landscaping industry space
  • Delivering a speech/educating fellow landscape professionals
  • Increasing your company visibility/brand awareness
  • Offering live demonstrations
  • Collect customer testimonials
  • Collaborating with other vendors to form partnerships
  • Face-to-face marketing/ building one-to-one relationships
  • Enjoying your time at lunch, get freebies, special pricing or promotions
  • Learning from workshops, seminars, and keynote speeches by industry experts.
  • Rejuvenate your passion – regain the initial excitement that drove you to enter the world of landscaping.

Further, follow the SMART methodology to define your goals. Examples of smart goals for a trade show:

  1. Connect with 10 industry media contacts during 2 days of the show and form long term relations with 2 of them.
  2. Get 20 commercial landscaping leads during and after the show within 1 month and convert 5 of them within the next 6 months.
  3. Establish thought leadership within the local community about landscaping and increase my LinkedIn follower count by 200 within 3 months of the show.

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2. Learn all about your landscaping event

Take a look at all of these details to plan for resource planning and promotions.

Explore the event website

Check out the landscaping trade show schedule

  • The schedule will have complete details of micro-events that will happen during the main event duration.
  • Event managers generally space and time the micro events so that you can attend all of them while still fully awake!
Analysing schedules for trade show planning guide

Look at the event floor plan

  • The event floor plan would display the companies and location of the booth. If you register early you might get your choice of the location for your booth.
  • Look for companies in the floor plan that complement your service and you’re more likely to be friends. Try to exhibit nearby them.
  • Guess footfall to your booth. You’re more likely to be visited by people if you are near the food hall. Everybody snacks or goes for refreshments every once in a while.
  • All shows typically fill in a similar pattern: first aisle and corner booths fill first, with second, third, etc. filling afterwards.
  • Looking at the floor plan also helps you plan for exploring new solutions in the industry while your exhibiting.
Analysing event floor plan for trade show planning checklist

Check out the Sponsorship opportunities

  • Every trade show, conference, workshop, summit, symposium etc. would have sponsorship opportunities.
  • Make sure to select the one that fits in with your overall budget and has the maximum impact.
  • From experience, low-ticket and high-impact event sponsorships include
    • Wifi – everyone would get to know your name when they connect with the wifi.
    • Event signage at the event entrance and backdrops of education sessions.
    • Conference Bag logo
    • Placeholder screens
    • Resting station sponsorship
Sponsorship opportunities landscaping event checklist
Landscaping event sponsorship

Know the demographics of attendees

  • Since you are going there to network and let your company be known, you must find what kind of people attend the event.
  • Ask your contact to learn about the demographics of the attendees.
  • The demographics will help you determine the level of preparation you need and your messaging and talking points while exhibiting.

Look at the previous year’s press for the same event

  • Event websites would host the previous year’s highlights. Check them out to know the kind of companies that exhibited, speakers, schedule and more.
  • Do a Google search for the past year’s event to know the real-life experiences of speakers and companies.
  • Connect with any small company to talk directly about their event experience if possible.
Past year event lookup for event planning

Know who is exhibiting

  • The exhibitor list helps you determine the competition and if you are even a fit for the event.
  • You can further use the exhibitor list as leads to contact if they are your prospects.
  • Once you get the contact details of the exhibitors (event organizers generally send them if you are exhibiting), you can show them ads digitally and create a look-alike audience to show ads to similar businesses.
  • Please remember to never buy any event attendee list from third parties as they are spam.
Exhibitor list for trade show planning checklist

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3. Plan for resources

Map out your material requirements!

With your exhibition kit or sponsor package, you’ll find some basic things already included in your package – such as draped table and chairs, tablecloth, lunch, pipe and curtains etc.

Event materials already included in landscaping trade show exhibition package

To achieve your goals, you’ll still need to arrange additional sourcing for materials for your event.

You can also rent pre-made or customized booths, but it might be in your best interest to buy the supplies and plan for their storage and logistics if you are going to multiple events in a year.

Here is a list of supplies(part of trade show planning checklist) commonly sourced by people for the landscaping event.

  1. Booth flooring, carpet, and vinyl
  2. Pipe and drapes
  3. Additional chairs
  4. First aid
  5. Standee/ Banner stands
  6. Snacks
  7. Backwalls
  8. Sidewalls
  9. Back of the exhibit
  10. Hanging signs
  11. Logoed or unique designed carpet
  12. Kiosks with graphics
  13. Counter graphics
  14. Backwall headers
  15. Table and counter tops
  16. Custom furniture
  17. LED Tiles
  18. Monitors and Monitor Stands
  19. iPad Stands
  20. Overhead Signs
  21. Lighting
  22. Literature Racks
  23. Bag Stands
  24. Business cards
  25. Give aways/Freebies/Swag
  26. Lead capture devices
  27. Flyers, brochures, or catalogs
  28. Box cutter
  29. Stapler with staples
  30. Markers and notepads
  31. Tape
  32. Scissors
  33. Extension chords
  34. Trash bags
  35. Super glue
  36. Tote bags
  37. Name tags
  38. Pop up banners
  39. Storage cases
  40. Wire racks/Grid walls

Note that this is not an exhaustive list. To get more ideas, check out any landscaping trade show supplies company website.

Equip expo booth material photo
Equip expo booth material photo example2
Galabau booth material photo example3

Get insurance for your personal property, event cancellation, company materials etc.

Plan your staffing

Ensure your booth is staffed by knowledgeable and enthusiastic team members.

Train them on your objectives, products, and how to engage with attendees.

You may also want to assign roles and responsibilities, such as greeters, presenters, or lead collectors. Assign someone as booth traffic officer with talking points such as “Hey! Can I share with you what we’re doing here at the company”?

Position your technical experts inside the booth space where the greeters can introduce prospective clients to them after an initial qualification.

4. Create a marketing strategy

Marketing’s role is to support the sales and your objectives. Use your strategy to bring people to your booth. Let sales do the rest.

Some actionable strategies to promote your company in a landscaping event or a conference:

Booth design and graphics

Your booth is a reflection of your brand. Make it inviting and memorable. Consider elements like signage, displays, and promotional materials. You may also want to offer live demonstrations, giveaways, or contests to attract and engage visitors.

After you’ve planned for the materials, pour your brand identity into your table covers and runners, and theme your graphics around your unique selling proposition.

Landscaping booth design graphics

Promote your presence and bring people to your booth

  • Use Google ads, Facebook ads, TikTok or LinkedIn to target people close to vicinity of the event.
    • Also target professionals nearby designated hotel venues for your trade show. You can be more specific and target only the people who are likely to visit.
    • This will help you get exposure for your brand before you’re even in the event.
    • Once attendees have seen your ad, you’re more likely to get responses and it’ll be easy to open a conversation with them.
  • Leverage social media, email newsletters, and your company website to let people know you’ll be at the trade show. Do not forget to mention your booth number in your communications.
  • You can also use hashtags, event apps, or online communities to connect with potential attendees and generate interest. You may also want to offer incentives, such as discounts, free consultations, or samples, to encourage people to visit your booth.
  • If you’re launching a new product or service at the trade show, consider sending out a press release to generate media coverage.
  • You can also leverage the trade show organizer’s resources, such as their website, newsletter, app, and directory, to increase your visibility and reach.

Prepare marketing materials

Have plenty of business cards, brochures, or product samples on hand. These can be useful for attendees to remember your brand and for follow-up conversations after the event.

For every supply you take into the event, brand them minimally.

Marketing material landscaping event

5. Prepare a budget

When you’ve learned everything there is to know about the upcoming event and planned for resources & marketing, you can prepare the budget with ease.

Remember to take into consideration the event exhibiting cost, travel, logistics of supplies, warehouse costs, PPC ads and PR cost and staffing work hours.

During the Show

6. Engage with attendees

Make sure to give everyone a hello with a greeting. Everyone is there is to network and with their own agenda.

Make sure to have a card reader handy or use a mobile app to capture networking leads or sales leads.

Be proactive in starting conversations with attendees. Remember, you’re not just there to sell, but to build relationships.

Trade shows are a great place to meet industry peers, potential partners, and influencers. Don’t miss out on these networking opportunities.

Networking landscape show 2022

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7. Document the event

Take plenty of photos and videos of your booth, team members, and attendees. This content can be used for post-show marketing.

Take a few minutes for social media postings. This could include live tweeting from the event, sharing photos or videos of your booth, or even hosting a live Q&A session on your social media platforms.

Expo document photography

8. Swag it off

Exhibition freebies are complimentary items or gifts that companies distribute at events to draw in attendees, create a lasting impression, generate potential leads, and enhance brand recognition.

Giveaway ideas landscaping event

Advantages of distributing swag

Distributing freebies at trade shows can increase footfall, advertise to a broader audience, interact with prospective customers, enhance brand memory, and provide a high return on investment.

Give away ideas

The event swag distributed at trade shows should be of high quality, innovative, customized, relevant, and beneficial to the recipients.

Coffee cups, seed pencils that can be planted, key rings, personal care items, screen cleaning tools, notepads, complimentary trials, portable smoothie makers, health and wellness items, pens with a stylus, snack gift baskets, cocktail making kits, desk decor, photo frames, pop sockets, tote bags, refillable water bottles, rain umbrellas, wellness diaries, desk clocks, discount vouchers, portable chargers, can insulators, and branded clothing make good a giveaway.

We recommend thinking about the attendees and their demographic. Would a branded toolbox be of more use to a landscaper or a contractor then a wellness diary?

Here are some specific ideas to get you started:

  • Plantable Sprout Pencils
  • Seed Packets
  • Gardening Tools:
  • Eco-Friendly Tote Bags
  • Customized Water Bottles
  • Rooted Cuttings
Custom branded toolkit event swag

9. Break ice and reach more people

Engage attendees while they are exploring the city, in their hotels, or as they get off the airplane. Maybe on segues or rideshare. Make an impression on them before the trade show even starts.

10. Set some time aside to explore

Learn more about your competitors. Explore new solutions and companies that are bringing a change in the industry.

Identify future trends and explore potential partners. Start a conversation with them and understand what they are offering.

Post-Show Follow-Ups

11. Evaluate your performance

Did you meet your objectives? What worked well, and what could be improved for next time?

Compare your results with your goals

Review the objectives you set before the show and measure how well you achieved them. For example, how many leads did you generate, how many sales did you close, how much media coverage did you get, etc.

Collect feedback from your team and attendees

Ask your team members and booth visitors for their opinions and suggestions. You can use surveys, interviews, or online reviews to gather feedback. This can help you identify what worked well and what could be improved for future shows.

Analyze your return on investment (ROI)

Calculate how much revenue you generated from the show and compare it with how much you spent on it. You can use this formula to estimate your ROI: (Revenue – Cost) / Cost x 100%. A positive ROI means you made a profit, while a negative ROI means you lost money.

Document your learnings and best practices

Write a report or a summary of your trade show experience. Include your goals, results, feedback, ROI, and any insights or lessons learned. This can help you plan and improve your performance for your next trade show.

12. Follow up with leads

Reach out to the contacts you made during the show. Personalize your communication and remind them of how you met.

You may not have seen everyone, so use a follow-up thank you video. Keep it short, preferably under 1 minute. Reintroduce yourself, show the booth image as they would have seen it, quickly show the product and close with images of how it ships.

Trade show follow up
From topfloor marketing

13. Post event marketing

Use the exhibitor list and your networking leads to run PPC campaigns if they are your target audience to remind them of your brand or connect with you.

Use your contacts to meet and greet or ask them about their next event planning.

Nurture your leads and connect with all of your leads on LinkedIn.

Publish summaries detailing the activities, presentations, and showcases that occurred during the exhibition. Post your organization’s participation in the event, along with your significant learnings and contributions.

Remember to look back at your goals that you set to achieve. You objective of attending the event would inform your post event marketing strategy.

Strategies to attract people to your booth

Interactive Elements

Consider incorporating interactive elements in your booth like touch screens, VR/AR experiences, or a photo booth. These can make your booth stand out and create a memorable experience for attendees.

Interactive elements trade show booths

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Consider how you can make your participation more sustainable. This could include using recycled materials for your booth, offering digital rather than printed materials, or offsetting your travel emissions.

Sustainable booth for landscaping expo

Themed Booth

Consider designing your booth around a specific theme that aligns with your brand or product. This could be anything from a futuristic tech theme to a nostalgic retro theme.

Themed booth

Live Demonstrations

If your product allows, live demonstrations can be a great way to attract attention and engage attendees. You could also consider interactive demonstrations where attendees can try your product.

Guest Speakers

Inviting a guest speaker related to your industry can draw more visitors. This could be a thought leader, a celebrity, or an influencer who can bring additional visibility to your booth.

Workshops or Mini Classes

If it’s appropriate for your product or service, you could hold short workshops or classes at your booth. This not only attracts attendees but also provides value, which can leave a lasting impression.


Incorporate games or contests into your booth design. This could be as simple as a spin-the-wheel game with prizes or a more complex digital game. Games are a fun way to engage attendees and can also be used to collect contact information for follow-up after the event.

Gamification event bringing people booth

Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality

If your budget allows, VR or AR can provide a unique and memorable experience for booth visitors. For example, a virtual tour of a factory or a 3D model of a product can be both informative and engaging.

Landscaping trade show planning guide: Conclusion

This concludes our guide for landscaping trade show planning, covering various aspects such as pre-show, during the show, and post-show activities. The main points we covered are:

  • Pre-show planning involves defining goals, learning about the event, planning for resources, creating a marketing strategy, and preparing a budget.
  • During the show, exhibitors should engage with attendees, document the event, offer swag, break ice, and explore new solutions and trends.
  • Post-show follow-ups include evaluating performance, reaching out to leads, and continuing marketing efforts.

The article provides a comprehensive checklist and several strategies to help exhibitors make the most out of their trade show participation.

By following the tips and suggestions in this guide, exhibitors can showcase their landscaping business, network with industry professionals, and learn about the latest innovations.

Trade shows are a valuable opportunity for landscapers to grow their business and achieve their objectives.

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