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Pros and Cons of Attending Your First Trade Show

When you attend your first trade show, you’ll probably run across plenty of surprises. Most new trade show exhibitors don’t really know what they are getting into. They may think it will be much like a state fair, but it’s not. The variety of exhibits can become overwhelming, as they come in all shapes, sizes, and designs.

If you’re planning to attend your first trade show, you should be familiar with some of the things to expect. Here are some of the pros and cons of attending your first trade show.


There are many benefits to trade show marketing for your company and the benefits are probably what got you thinking about attending. Some of the pros include:

  • Excellent Place for Networking – You’ll likely meet other companies at trade shows with similar goals as your company. It’s a great place to get your business card into the hands of those most interested in your product or service. You can easily start conversations with others in your industry, as well.
  • Collect Tons of Leads – Not only will you have the opportunity to collect leads from those visiting your booth, but you will also have the ability to get leads from the list of attendees at the show. You can even use a lead scanner to collect the information you need making it easier to follow up with your leads.
  • Show Off Your Product or Service – No matter what you’re selling, trades shows are a great place to test out the market for it. You can gain valuable feedback before taking a product to market, which may allow you to make it even better. Of course, you may also be able to sell the product or service at the trade show.
  • Highly Targeted Audience – When you attend a trade show for your industry, you don’t have to weed out those not interested in your product or service. Instead, you will be right in front of your target market the entire time.

There are several pros to attending your first trade show and this short list should get you pretty excited.


Even though trade shows comes with plenty of benefits, you should be aware of some of the cons, too. These cons will help you better prepare before attending your first trade show.

  • Must be Detail Oriented – If you miss the wrong details, it could cost you big. For example, if you don’t get things ready and have the shipping set up for your booth ahead of time, it can become a huge hassle and an unnecessary expense. Make sure you pay attention to the details, especially deadlines.
  • Trade Shows are Expensive – While trade shows can provide a ton of leads and new sales, they are also very expensive. You have to pay for the booth rental, electricity, internet and many other things. They can cost thousands of dollars, in some cases.
  • It’s Risky – Attending a trade show and expecting a positive return on your investment does pose some risk. You will spend thousands getting your space, creating your booth, for travel and other things you need. If your audience isn’t engaged and doesn’t show much interest in what you offer, it can become a disaster.

Even with the cons that come along with attending your first trade show, many companies find it to be a very valuable way to gather new leads and make new connections within the industry. With the right trade show professionals helping you along the way, you can ensure the return on your investment is very positive.

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