If you are like most companies, you have been going to the same trade shows year after year. Have you ever stopped to ask why you go to those shows? Are they the best place for you to exhibit? There are a few things to think about when considering what shows to be involved with.
Who is your ideal customer? What are some common traits among your customers? Think outside the box, and you may find different shows that put you smack dab in front of the perfect audience. For example, a company that sells organic dog treats exhibits every year at dog shows – of course, right? There are other great show options out there, including home shows (a good deal of home owners are also dog owners!) and farmer’s markets (a lot of organic eaters like to feed their pets organic, too!). While these aren’t the first place you would think of buying these items, it really does make perfect sense why they would be there!
Take a few moments to talk to some of your existing customers. What shows do they go to? If you find some common denominators, there is a good chance other potential customers are attending these shows, too.
If your show list is long, contact the show organizers to review a list of the previous year’s attendees and exhibitors. This will give you better perspective on who to expect at the event both in terms of your customers and your competition.
If you still cannot narrow down the list, go to a few shows as an attendee before signing up as an exhibitor the following year. Walk the show floor; get a great feel for the exhibitors and attendees you can expect the next year. You may notice that the audience makeup or overall atmosphere warrants some adjustments to your strategy, staffing, or even your exhibit (tip: a custom trade show rental can be a cost effective decision for one-off events requiring a substantially different exhibit design).
Trade shows are the best place to be face-to-face with your customers, so identify the shows and events that draw your target audience in, and really increase the success of your trade show program.