How to Easily Pick the Best Trade Show
How do you find the best trade show for you? There are several ways to approach the problem.
And it’s a crucial problem to solve.
If you’ve got the world’s greatest product, and you’re at the wrong show, you might as well just set fire to your trade show budget. But getting it right requires a little homework. It’s not hard; it just takes a thoughtful approach. This article will walk you through the process of choosing the best trade show for your company.
1) Check Out Your Competitors:
Finding out which are the best trade shows for your competitors can give you a rough idea of what might work for you. Your needs may not be the same as theirs. But seeing where your competitors are exhibiting can give you some assurance that prospects for your product or service are attending these shows in reasonable numbers.
But don’t stop there.
Study your competitors’ exhibits. How many staffers do they send? What are they doing to attract attention (a product demo, prize drawing, social media contest, etc).
Truth be told, there are two ways to look at this information.
(1) Don’t go much bigger than your competition. That way, you’re not spending money being bigger than you have to be.
(2) Outsize your competitors, to the point where you take over the show. This can help draw more qualified prospects to your display.
The approach you take depends on a number of factors:
– cost of a larger exhibit,
– projected attendance of those meeting your criteria as prospects,
– cost of floor space,
– your goals as an exhibitor.
2) Ask Your Clients:
The clients you serve go to different shows for different reasons. Some go to check out the latest technology in the industry. Some are interested in the educational opportunities offered in conjunction with the show. Still others see the show as a valuable opportunity for networking.
So ask your clients, “Which are the best trade shows for you?” Filter their answers through your own reasons for exhibiting.
Maybe they respond with “looking for new products.” That won’t be of any benefit to your company unless you have new products to debut at that show.
Maybe it’s the educational track that appeals to them. If so, explore the possibility of having representatives from your company present a seminar.
For those who see the show as a place to catch up with old friends, consider a coffee bar or other food service in your booth. Include an area for people to congregate and talk business.
3) Go To The Show Yourself:
Make the investment and travel to some of the shows you’re considering. What does the show look like? Does it feel exciting? Are exhibitors enthusiastic? Would your booth look appropriate on this show floor? Are most exhibits about the same size as yours, or noticeably larger or smaller?
Talk with exhibitors. Come right out and ask whether the show is up or down according to the metrics that matter to you. These may include attendance, other companies showcasing new products, booth space rental, sponsorship opportunities, and outside costs like hotels and airfares. This will help you determine if the show you’re visiting is the best trade show for you.
4) Check Out Show Management:
It takes a lot of money and resources to exhibit at a trade show. So find out how the show has treated its exhibitors in the past. Do some checking with previous exhibitors. Or call people in your network to find out if show management has had issues with exhibitors. You want to know if show organizers have treated exhibitors well.
If you’re participating in a new show, you may be in for a bumpy road. If you do experience problems, document the circumstances. List your efforts to get them addressed by show management. If something can’t be done on-site, sometimes a remedy can be reached after the show. For example, you may receive a partial refund or credit toward exhibit space for a future show.
5) Evaluate Past Successes:
What made your last show a success? Or, alternately, what didn’t work? Were the important factors under your control? How can you use what you’ve learned about previous shows to get the most out of a new one? Try to find about five things that made your most successful show “click.”
Then use these factors to assess each new opportunity. The best trade show for you may not be one your competitors attend. It all comes down to your objectives. Whether you’re looking for leads, promoting a new product, garnering media attention, opening a new market (or a dozen other reasons), finding the right trade show for you is an important part of your job as an exhibit manager.
Using these suggestions and evaluating your exhibit, your goals, your team and what’s worked in the past will help you find the best trade show for you.
If you haven’t found the right show for you, it doesn’t matter how great your product is, or how well your sales staff can write leads. Here at American Image Displays, we help companies find the right shows all the time. Then we create compelling exhibits that attract attention and tell the exhibitor’s story effectively. For a free, no strings exhibit consultation, call and talk with one of our exhibiting professionals. We’ll show you how your display can reach its full potential. Just call (800) 676-3976 or email [email protected]