Whether it’s CES in Las Vegas, the SAP show in Florida or the Textile event in London, there’s a trade show for practically every line of business and industry.
But with so many trade shows occurring regularly across various parts of the world, trying to figure out which trade show to attend can be quite a challenge. To help make sense of it all here are 10 tips to help you find that one true perfect trade show for your business.
ESTABLISH YOUR OBJECTIVES
Before you even begin looking for events in your industry, it’s a good idea to clearly define your objectives and strategy. Start by understanding what it is you want to accomplish by attending a specific trade show.
Generally, goals will include:
– Increasing leads and or sales?
– Raising awareness about your company?
– Strengthening relationships with customers?
– Launching a new product or service?
Only AFTER you’ve clearly defined your objectives and strategy should you begin to search for trade show options.
INDUSTRY VS. CONSUMER TRADE SHOWS
There are two core types of events that you need to look into before you can make your decision on which shows you will be attending:
Consumer-focused trade shows
Organizations exhibiting at these events are usually trying to heighten public awareness of their product or service.
This type will be good for you If you are:
launching a new product line
If you trying to make a name for yourself with the public
If you want to maintain top-of-mind with the consumer
Industry trade shows
Industry events are places where organizations get together to network, take the pulse of the industry and make buying decisions. They are beneficial because exhibitors can also take out time and switch into attendee mode.
UNDERSTAND YOUR (other) OPTIONS
As mentioned above, trade shows are constantly happening across the globe. You can waste hours online searching for trade shows. Or, you can save yourself a headache and make use of resources already available that do the work for you. There are dozens of event directories and calendars available online, based on industries and time periods.
RESEARCH THE EVENT
So far you’ve looked into why you want to attend an event, and what event you may want to participate in.
Now let’s dive into how to do it right.
It’s always a good idea to do your research learn more about each trade show so you can figure out how this show will contribute to accomplishing your objectives.
Search for everything you can find out about the event such as:
Show statistics and demographics
A list of previous year’s participants and attendee numbers
UNDERSTAND THE TRADE-SHOW’S HISTORY
By now you’ve probably narrowed down to a list of potential trade shows, narrow down the list a little more by digging deeper into the event history. While a trade show’s longevity is certainly a good indicator of success, that shouldn’t be your only deciding factor.
We recommend looking into how well the event has been publicized in the past. The last thing you want is to invest your time energy at a show that doesn’t have enough visitors or conversion potential. If you know of another organization that has attended in the past, reach out to them and ask about their exhibiting experience.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING- IS THIS THE RIGHT TIMING FOR YOU?
One of the most common mistakes is forgetting to identify conflicting events occurring at the same time. Concurrent shows can double your expenses, or divide the potential target attendees.
As a side time, we highly recommend that you look into what other events are taking place in the same city during that timeframe. Even if the other events aren’t in your field, an influx of people can make a huge difference in flights, hotel rates, and transportation.
Lastly, consider how the event’s timing relates to your customer’s buying patterns. Is it too late in the year or too early? Will you be able to follow up with leads, and convert them based on your goals and expectations? Timing is everything.
ESTABLISH A BUDGET
At first, it may seem like you’ve done everything right, by identifying your goals, event, and location, but all of that won’t help if the event isn’t within your budget. In addition to the cost to booth space and your booth design, remember to factor in shows services, travel and expenses, promotional material and of course shipping. Trade show costs can add up quickly, so make sure to do your homework on the costs involved ahead of time to avoid surprises later.
Industry-specific trade shows are an effective way for businesses to network with prospects and gain new sales opportunities. Exhibiting at the right trade show or marketing events is the first step to effectively increasing brand awareness across a broader segment of the market.
Use the tips mentioned above to increase your odds of choosing the best trade show events and setting the best goals for your company.