Trade Show Directory: How To Take a Pick Without Getting Overwhelmed

Most trade show exhibitors are devoted to their favorites, whether Las Vegas’ Consumer Electronics Show or Houston’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). But what if your return on investment (ROI) isn’t meeting your expectations? When do you want to break into a new market, for example? When deciding which trade fair to attend, various aspects to consider. Here are a few suggestions.

1. Decide What You Want To Achieve

Before considering whatever trade show choices are available, you must first identify your goals and strategy. Identify your goals before you begin by attending the trade event. Do your objectives include the following?

  • Increasing the number of leads and/or sales?
  • Do you want to advertise your business?
  • Strengthening customer relationships?
  • Would you be interested in introducing a new product or service?

Once you’ve identified your goals and approach, you should start looking for trade show opportunities.

2. Be Aware Of Your Choices

All over the world, new trade exhibits are popping up. You might squander hours searching for trade shows on the internet. Instead of exerting yourself, you can leverage existing resources to accomplish the task for you. Our trade show calendar allows you to quickly find future trade exhibitions by industry, nation, month, and more and then connects you to the most up-to-date exhibitor information.

3. Bring Forth Your Inner Sherlock Holmes

You can determine how each trade show is going to help you reach your goals after you’ve narrowed down your choices. From show data and demographics to a list of prior year’s participation and attendance numbers, you’ll find all you need. Your top brass will almost certainly request this information at some point; it can help you quickly limit your list of potential trade shows. This information is usually available from the show’s management.

4. Examine The Event’s Past

Once you’ve compiled a list of potential trade fairs, narrow it down by researching the event’s history. Is this a brand-new trade show, or has it been around for a while? While the duration of an event is a good sign of its success, don’t stop there. Examine how successfully the event has been advertised in the past and whether or not the show’s organizers have a solid reputation. If you are looking for presenter experiences, reach out to another group that has attended.

5. Think About The Timing

Whenever you analyze trade exhibits, remember to check whether they conflict with your schedule. If you have to establish a second trade show display for purchase or rent to attend two shows at once, concurrent exhibits might treble your costs. Also, you should consider other events taking place in the same city at the same time. Even if the other activities aren’t related to the trade show, a large influx of people can significantly impact flight prices, hotel costs, and transportation. Finally, think about how the scheduling of this trade show corresponds to your customers’ buying habits. Is it too late or too early in the year? Will your company be introducing any new products?

6. Make a Financial Plan

It doesn’t make any difference if your trade show doesn’t look good on paper if you can’t afford to have a customized display. Remember to consider in show services, travel and expenditures, promotional material, and, of course, shipping in addition to the cost of renting booth space and designing your exhibit. Costs associated with trade shows can quickly mount up, so do your research ahead of time to avoid unpleasant surprises.

7. Verify The Availability Of Space

You should look into what booth spaces are available on the show floor once you’ve chosen a trade show. Your booth’s location will substantially impact the amount of traffic it attracts. Also, keep in mind that not all booth spaces are made equal. Is the offered area suitable for your current booth layout? Would you need to build your own exhibit or configure component design within the given area if your trade show exhibit is modular?

8. Examine The Possibilities For Press Coverage

Other than the event itself, what more could the show offer to marketers? Are there any educational seminars or sponsorship possibilities that you may attend? Request a copy of the previous year’s press list and a list of current media guests. If you plan to participate in the trade exhibition, get in touch with the press as soon as possible and send them information about your business. Marketing opportunities can help you enhance your return on investment.

9. Recognize Your Target Audience

Even if a trade show is the largest in its field or attracts a high number of people each year, it won’t matter if your booth traffic doesn’t match your target group. According to studies, nearly half of all trade show participants come from within a 200-mile radius of the show’s location. So dig deeper than the raw figures to see what percentage of attendees genuinely suit your target market. Calculate the number of outstanding prospects and current clients who plan to attend. Statistics should be available from the exhibition producing company.

10. Take a Break From Your Computer

Online research is convenient, rapid, and, for the most part, valid. However, before displaying, attempt to attend the exhibition in person if at all possible. Some things, like vacation spots, look far nicer in the brochure, and the only way to truly know is to visit it for yourself. Take a stroll around the show floor. Talk to the people who are exhibiting at the trade event. In addition to seeing the show, taking a look at the area could ultimately save you time (and money). Consider accommodations, restaurants, transportation, and more. Later on, your team will thank you!


After completing all of your research, deciding which trade show exhibit is best for you should be simple. Even so, if you’re still not sure which trade show is best for your needs, give us a call. We’d be pleased to share our years of trade show knowledge with you and offer any advice you require.