Are you investing in the right trade show?

To begin with, selecting the right trade show for your business will make a huge difference to your success level, sales and qualified leads compared to spending money, energy and time with no return.

Many exhibitors make the mistake of being loyal to their favorite trade shows even if the show does not bring them any results. Also, they choose the most popular and biggest shows and simply just hope to get a great return on investment.

Just attending a trade show is not enough. In order to maximize the possibilities, you have to do all the necessary homework. This means that you should list out all the reasons to attend a trade show and choose the trade show which will best suit your business and audience.

Let me tell a few factors you should consider before choosing which trade show to exhibit:

1. Establish Your Intent

Before you begin to look at trade show options, you need to figure your goals, objectives and strategy. You should start by figuring what you want to accomplish by the trade show. Your goals should include

  •    Hike in leads and/ or sales
  •    Creating awareness about your company
  •    Anchoring relationship with customers
  •    Launching a new service or product
  •    Creating new contact base

Highlight the reason you want to attend the trade show and identify your objectives before you decide which trade show you will be spending your money on. Never forget to set booth objectives like spacing, type, location and products that need to be displayed.

2. Develop a budget

So, you should know that exhibitions can be pretty expensive but they can be very beneficial to the success of your business.

You should carefully plan your budget which should not only include space rent, registration fees, etc but also hotel, travel, onsite expenses, giveaways, marketing and promotional expenses.

You should know what you will need at the show as well as before and after the show to meet your goals so that you can plan your budget.

3. Research your options

Now that you have planned your budget, you can search for trade shows according to your budget. You should categorize your possible list by price, date, size, country or industry.

Consider only those trade shows which comes within your budget never go above it. Also, consider big as well as small local events.

Make sure to learn how each exhibit will contribute to your objective and gather information on the demographics, audience, participants, number of attendees and statistics of the show.

Before making a decision, you should have answers for the following questions.

  •    Can we afford the show?
  •    Is the show well established?
  •    Does it have a decent reputation?
  •    How huge is the exhibit?
  •    What industry does it target?
  •    Who will be attending it?
  •    Do you have statistics from previous years?
  •    Where will the show be advertised?
  •    Are you familiar with the city and venue?

Do not forget to check on social media to know how popular is the trade show, what other attendees and exhibitors say about it. You should also visit as many shows as possible prior to exhibiting.

This will help you to evaluate the show and help to decide the right fair for you and your business.

4. Check space availability

Once you have decided on the trade show, you should start looking into the booth space available in the exhibit. Booth location will have a great impact on the amount of traffic you drive into your booth. Let’s not forget that not all booth spaces are created equal. So, you should know what you want.

  •    Does the available space fit your booth layout?
  •    Will there be a need to build a new exhibit?
  •    If your trade show exhibit is modular, how can you configure your design within the available space?

5. Press Opportunities

In addition to the event itself, you should evaluate what other marketing opportunities you will be able to explore.

If there are any educational seminars in which you could participate or any sponsorship opportunities. Inquire about the previous year’s press list and list of currently registered press attendees.

Contact the press early and send them information about your company, if you decide on attending a trade show. You can increase your ROI by acquiring valuable marketing opportunities.

6. Understand your audience

You should figure out who you are specifically targeting at the exhibit while deciding on the shows. The key to the success of your exhibit will be your customer demographic.

You can inquire ten to twenty of your existing customers about the show they regularly attend.

This will give a vague idea of which shows your customers tend to attend. You will also have to consider the timing and distribution area.

It is proved that usually 40 – 60% of the attendees come from a 200mile radius. Some of your key customers may not go to big trade shows. They might prefer small local trade shows.

So, it is very important to know which trade shows your customers prefer so that you will be able to increase your ROI.


These are a few easy steps to be considered while choosing the right trade show for your business. While planning for the exhibit take these points into account so that it will be easy for you to identify the right trade show. They will help to compile a list of trade shows which will suit your brand identity, match your target market and objectives.

Comment below on what all factors bother you while investing in the right trade show.