Selecting the right trade show for your business isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Check out some of the ways you can be sure your next trade show is a perfect fit.
Let’s face it. You aren’t going to be able to exhibit at every trade show that pops up across the country. Each show is an investment of time and resources, and you absolutely need to be getting the most out of each show. There are plenty of ways you can improve your booth or staff, but what about the trade shows themselves? Not all trade shows are created equal, and sometimes a show that looks promising may not yield the ROI you’re expecting. You never want to get burned on a show that you thought was a sure thing, so we’ve brought you some ideas for picking out the best shows for your company.
Make Some Rules—And Stick To Them
The only way you are going to narrow down your list of potential shows is by setting down some basic guidelines. Ask yourself what you want to gain from your next trade show, write it down, and keep it handy. If a show doesn’t meet your criteria, then forget it and move on to the next one.
So what guidelines should you be using to select your show? Well, there are several things you should consider when looking at shows.
• Who is going to be there? Just because a show has a large number of attendees, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be exhibiting there. Think quality over quantity. Are the attendees at this potential show going to be decision makers, or lower level employees being sent to the show?
• Geographical location. Are you trying to move into a new market, or increase sales in your own backyard? The location of a trade show will play a large part in where many of the attendees are from.
• Is the event well promoted by the organizer? You are putting time and money into exhibiting at these shows, and the trade show’s promoter should match your effort. If the show is being marketed poorly, then you may want to move on down the list to another trade show.
Before It’s Final
So you’ve narrowed down your list of trade shows using the criteria you have established, but you still have a little work to do before you commit to the show. The show may look good on paper, but take some time to get in contact with people who can confirm that this is the right show for you. Of course, you’ll want to contact the trade show’s management and get information straight from the source, but you should also talk to past exhibitors and attendees. The show’s managers probably won’t lie to you, but getting a second opinion can’t hurt. Find out how useful the show was for past exhibitors, as well as attendees. You may just learn something useful going forward.
Lastly, attend the show yourself, if possible. Having firsthand knowledge of a show will make your decision making process much easier.
Remember, each trade show is an excellent opportunity to find leads and expand your brand. The choice of a trade show is an important one, so take your time and find the best one for your business.