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  • Writer's pictureAna Laura Zain

How to leverage marketing automation for events and tradeshows

Updated: May 14, 2020

If you want to drive traffic to your booth you can leverage Pardot to make the most out of your tradeshow.

In this guide you will find a high-level overview of the resources you need to kick-off your event campaign.

What you need to get started:

  1. A Pardot campaign

  2. A landing page where people interested to meet you at the booth can register

  3. Pardot form or form handler to collect data

  4. List of prospects or clients that you want to invite to join you at the booth

  5. Email invites

Before the event

1. Create a Pardot Campaign

What is a Pardot Campaign?

“Pardot campaigns are thematic touchpoints (similar to “source” in other systems). Pardot campaigns are used to track a prospect’s first touch.” Salesforce

A prospect’s Pardot campaign is set when a prospect first hits a Pardot tracked link or Pardot tracking code. Once a prospect becomes associated with a campaign, they remain associated with that campaign. Each prospect is associated with only one Pardot campaign.

Why do I need to create one?

By creating a campaign, you would be able to measure the performance of that campaign in terms of ROI, lead gen, and more. You will link all the resources (landing page, form, email) to the campaign so you can track performance.

Ok, so how do I create a campaign?

Sign in to Pardot. Go to Marketing > Campaigns > Add Campaign

👄Naming Convention: Use a naming convention that works for you and your team, my recommendation is to use a structure like this:


*Campaign or initiative type


· UK_CannesLions_Invitees_Tier3_IT_APR18

· FR_CannesLions_Reminder_Tier3_IT_MAY19

Other examples:

· RetailWhitepaper_EmailCampaign_JAN15

· RetailWhitepaper_Downloads_JAN30

Keep your lists and activities organised! You can create a specific folder in Pardot for events for instance.

2. Landing page creation

Ensure you follow guidelines for a high converting landing page.

If you already have a landing page template created for past events, you can try editing some sections with the Pardot editor. Make sure you make a copy first!

Go to Marketing > Layout templates > Copy

Note: Some HTML knowledge might be required for this.

Form: which data do you want to capture?

Recommended fields are: First name, Last name, Company and Email address.

If you copy the layout template then the form created for past events would be used.

3. Upload your lists

For a step-by-step guide on how to upload your prospects to Pardot, please refer to this blog post.

4. Create and Email Campaign

Best practices:

✉️ Invite – 3 to 4 weeks before the event

✉️ Reminder 1 – two weeks before the event

✉️ Reminder 2 – one week before the event

✉️ Reminder to people that have registered – one day before the event

✉️ Follow ups for shows and no shows 3 business days after the event

✉️ Autoresponder with calendar hold – for those that have registered they will receive a confirmation email with a calendar hold. Autoresponder emails will deploy as soon as a prospect submits a form.

How to set up an email invite

Go to Marketing > Email > New List Email

Fill the basic information.

A pop up window with the available templates will show up. Select your desired template.

You can edit text, images and buttons with the Pardot editor.

During the event

Encourage engagement by having product demos set up for prospects to interact with.

Collect business cards so you can follow up with your prospects and clients after the event.

After the event

Follow up emails

A good practice is to follow up via email after an event within 3 business days.

You would usually send a follow up message to people that stopped by the booth but also with people that you’ve missed.

You should upload your lists to Pardot and then send them the follow up email as instructed above.

Questions? Connect with me leaving a comment or via email at

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