How To Pick the Right Trade Show - Mark Bric Display

How To Pick the Right Trade Show

Socrates said, “Know thyself” and Shakespeare’s Polonius quipped “To thine own self be true”. These ideas are both sage advice when it comes to the first steps toward having a successful trade show experience. In order to pick the right show, you have to understand who your company is and what products and services you provide. It is also helpful to have a good handle on who your customers are currently and what qualities mark good potential future customers. If you know who you are and what you bring to the proverbial table, then you can narrow down your show selection to those events that are going to cater to your potential audiences and give you the most people in the crowd that will have, or should have – you can convince them, an interest in your products and services.

Do your research. Find shows and conventions that are relevant to the group of buyers you have defined as potential customers. Call trade associations, read trade magazines (or websites) of the target groups and figure out which shows your desired group attends. Where are they going to be? Then, be sure to talk to show management about the show you are considering. What are their facts and figures on demographics, attendance, lists of other exhibitors etc. Use the homework the shows are doing to get the numbers and facts you need to compare pricing to potential return on investment for that show. Also you should ask show management what promotion they do to get folks to the shows and evaluate whether or not they get the right trade media reps to attend as well.

A good first step is calculating a quick cost per lead and compare this to other shows or your other methods of gaining new business. Will this show work logistically in your organizations calendar? Will the people you need to attend be available…can they block off those dates? Be sure to consider personnel factors not just the budgeting issues. Remember, the earlier you can select a show the better; many shows have discounts for early registration and early payment on select services.

Selecting the right show is one of the first steps to exhibiting success. Each step counts and, with proper research and internal communication with invested parties, can be rewarding.

Perhaps you already have several shows lined up but still need to create your trade show exhibit. When you are ready for the next steps let us assist you with full exhibit design or display elements for your trade show booth. Contact us by phone at 800-742-6275 or via our websites  or

Check our Trade Show Season Smarts series next week for advice on choosing the best exhibit space on the trade show floor.

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