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How to Select Which Trade Shows to Attend

There can be many benefits to having an exhibit at a trade show. The hard part is figuring out which trade shows will give you the best return on investment. Whether you have been attending the same trade show for years and want to switch it up or are looking to go to your first trade show, picking the right one is vital. Not all trade shows are created equal so here are some things to consider when you are choosing which trade shows are worth your time and investment. 

What are your Goals?

Before you even start looking for a trade show, you need to narrow down your purpose in attending the trade show. 

  • What are the goals you hope to achieve? 
  • Do you want to generate sales or leads? 
  • Do you want increased brand awareness? 
  • Would you like to build relationships with customers or others in the industry? 

These are the kind of things that you should consider about a trade show. Strive to pin down your intentions before making a decision. 

Do Your Research

Once you have specific goals in mind, you can start looking for the right trade show. There are countless trade shows all over the world, so you will want to look for trade shows that have a location and dates that fit your schedule. Pick out a couple of trade shows that seem to be a good fit and research them. Next, look into the statistics and demographics from the previous years. A list of participants and the number of attendees should also be readily available to you. How long has this trade show been around, what’s its reputation, and is it publicized at all? If you can get in contact with a business that has participated to ask about their experience at the trade show. 

Create a Budget

Before you decide on a trade show you also need to consider your budget. Costs can add up quickly and you do not want to overspend. When creating a budget for the trade show there are quite a few things to consider. The two largest fees will be the exhibitor’s fee for being in the trade show and your trade show display. Other things to consider would be the costs of traveling, promotional items, and any other expenses that may arise. Having a budget will help keep your spending from adding up too fast and spending on things that are needed. 

Check Availability

After deciding which trade show is right for you and checking that it was within budget, you will need to find out if there is available space. If there is space available you will want to get the booth spaces and a map of the trade show. Not all booth spaces are created equal as some get more foot traffic than others. You will want to check that the booth size will work with your trade show display that you have. If you are going to invest in a trade show, be sure that the booth will help you achieve your goals. 

Prepare For the Trade Show

Deciding which trade show to participate in can be stressful as you want to pick the right one. Picking which trade show is only part of the work though. After you have chosen one, you have to start preparing for it. 

Things to add to your readiness checklist include: 

  • Promotional items
  • Trade show display
  • Which team members will come 
  • Booking the travel 
  • How you will get everything to the trade show

Preparing ahead of time can help your trade show experience go smoothly and let you focus on the goals you want to achieve.

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