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Choosing the Right Trade Show for your Business

Exhibiting your products or services at an industry trade show has the potential to give your business a real boost.  However, exhibiting can also prove to be very expensive so if you’re going to gain the maximum advantage, you need to ensure that you choose the right trade show.

Why do you want to exhibit?

The best way to start is to spend time thinking about why you want to exhibit.  Don’t be vague; although it’s tempting to set an objective of increasing sales, focus instead on exactly how exhibiting will help you achieve this.  Do you want to launch a new product, for example, or learn about developments in your industry and make new contacts? Pinpointing your goals precisely will help you get the most from exhibiting.

Finding a trade show to match your objectives

Once you’ve honed your objectives you’ll need to compare trade shows and match your objectives to those available.  Look at each show in turn and find as much key information as you can from previous years.  What was the footfall, for example?  Which segment of your industry attended? Will your competitors be there? Did the trade show receive good feedback from your peers and potential customers?  Once you have this information, it can be helpful to score each potential exhibition according to how well they match your goals.

Can you afford it?

One of the most important questions you need to ask yourself is if you can afford to attend a trade show. With this in mind, you need to have an accurate idea of your budget: make a list of all the trade shows you could attend and cross of any you can’t afford. When setting a budget you should take into account costs for attending each exhibition, such as how much it will cost to book and build a stand, marketing materials, staffing and travel expenses.  Don’t forget to factor in other costs such as advertising, graphics and branding or product demonstrations.

Last and by no means least, remember to include the cost of the ticket price for each exhibition and then you should have a list of exhibitions which will match your business objectives and your budget.