Every business has different goals, philosophies and marketing strategies. Some businesses use trade shows to sell product and gain new customers, while others use these events only for new product launch campaigns. No matter how you plan to incorporate trade shows into your marketing strategy, it's important to know how to find the right one for your needs.
Larger or Smaller?
Selecting a trade show to fit your business model starts with the number of attendees. Some shows are massive and will see tens of thousands of attendees, while others are far smaller with just a few thousand attendees. However, there are benefits to both small and large shows.
If your business operates in a very narrow niche, a smaller trade show may provide a better target market for your needs. Sometimes, it's better to look at how targeted the market may be at a trade show instead of how many attendees are expected.
Another factor to consider is the cost for floor space at the show. If you working with a smaller budget, you may choose smaller shows because they are less expensive. Some of the larger shows may cost double or even triple to get even the smallest available floor space.
The location should also be considered when you choose the trade shows you prefer to attend. If you live in a larger city, it makes sense to attend shows in your specific area, but it may also make sense to travel to shows outside your city.
For some businesses, it doesn't make sense to leave the area they service to go to a trade show. For example, if your business is based in Denver, Colorado and you don't provide services outside the greater Denver area, it doesn't make any sense to attend a trade show in Dallas, Texas.
Type of Show
You may already know you will be attending the show for your specific industry when it's scheduled. However, there may be other industry shows that make sense for you to attend, as well.
For example, home improvement or landscaping services, it makes sense to attend both home and garden shows and any other type of trade show in the real estate industry. Some businesses will do very well at a trade show outside their primary niche simply because there won't be a high volume of competitors in attendance.
Along with these factors, you should also consider:
- Return on Investment - How many leads/sales you may generate
- Will the Competition be in Attendance?
- How much marketing does the show do?
- Did you attend the show last year?
These are all important factors when considering the right trade show for your specific needs.
Where can you Find Trade Shows?
Trade shows are heavily advertised in many different places. Convention centers and other venues will usually list the upcoming shows on their websites. Industry journals and newsletters will also have a list of the shows.
When it comes to larger trade shows, they may have a website online with scheduled dates and locations for upcoming shows. There are also a few websites online dedicated to providing accurate information about tradeshows, such as http://www.thetradeshowcalendar.com.
Once you find the show or shows you plan to attend, you can contact the management of the show if you have any specific questions. They can also help give you an estimate of attendees and an idea of the scheduled presenters for the trade show.