The 1st Rule of tradeshows is Tell People You are Going!
Think about your tradeshow as the more you tell people, the more you get paid. Ok, the more traffic you get at your tradeshow booth, the more business you do as a result, and the more money your company makes, or the more commission checks you get. That simple.
How do you tell people?
#1) Direct Contact with existing clients
#2) Prospect List Contact
#3) Social Media
Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are all great ways to broadcast (as a company and as a individual) that you will be at the ABC Tradeshow showing off the new XYZ Product of the great company you work for. Your marketing team should provide support if the company is spending the money to exhibit and send you! Use them.
Wait - isn't this Social Media? Yes but when it comes to tradeshows Twitter is king. There is a tradeshow Twitter handle and hashtag. Use them. 3 months out once or twice a week. 2 months crank it up, 1 month even more.
The day of the show, use Twitter scheduler like Tweetdeck to remind people upon wake up, 1 hour to go, 15 to go, 10 to go and 5 to go. Trust me - before the floor opens every attendee will be searching twitter. Use the hashtag and your booth number. You can set this up a week in advance.
So before the floor opens you have had contact with existing and future clients, let people know on Facebook and LinkedIn and blasted Twitter - attendees will know to look for you and your company.
Hopefully enough to pay for that beach vacation!