How To Choose The Right Trade Show

Three Things To Consider When Choosing To Attend A Trade Show

Trade shows can provide incredible marketing potential and educational benefits to a company that wants to expand its base. Every business is unique, and getting yours the right exposure can be a challenge if you aren’t properly evaluating the trade shows that you attend.

Here are some strategies for picking out the perfect trade show for your business.People at exhibition

Look at the show’s history.

Always check out the past performance of a trade show. See what companies attended in the past few years, and try to talk to some past attendees and exhibitors who aren’t direct competitors. This way you can get an unbiased view of how helpful the show was to them. Is the show growing from year to year, or does it seem stagnant? Using these reviews can help you gauge whether or not this trade show is worth your time and money.


Many exhibitors will go to the show as an attendee to check it out first hand and finalize a decision for next year. This allows the opportunity to:

  • Take a look at who is really there.
  • See how the show floor traffic looks.
  • Talk to other exhibitors about how productive they think the trade show is.

Also, this way you don’t have to take the trade show management’s word for who is attending.


Who will be there?

Just because a potential trade show is one of the biggest, doesn’t always mean it will be a good fit for you. Many times, unions specify that members get to attend one conference each year, and it might just so happen that they chose this conference simply because it is the biggest, not because it is the best. If the people attending aren’t decision-makers, then you could be wasting your time and effort trying to attract them.


Another aspect to consider is whether a larger national show will be worth the extra money. If your business is smaller and doesn’t have the resources to follow up leads across the country, then you might want to think about a regional show that better fits your demographic. Conversely, if you are looking to expand your sales beyond your region, you may want to invest in a national show.


Check out whether or not your most direct competitors exhibit at the show. If they are, then there is a very good chance that your company could benefit from the same exposure.


How well promoted is the show?

You should always check with the managers of the trade show to determine how they will be promoting it. The newer the show, the better the promotion will need to be for it to be worth your while. A less expensive show may not have the same pre-show promotion opportunities that a more expensive show can provide. Estimate the cost of your participation and weigh that against your estimated sales revenues from the show. If it doesn’t look likely that you’ll have a very high ROI, you may want to reevaluate or take that show off your shortlist.


A trade show can be an excellent investment for a company looking to increase sales and stay relevant in a fast paced business environment. However, you should always critically evaluate a trade show’s potential to boost your business before you commit to it.

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