Strategically Choosing a Trade Show Event or Conference

There are thousands of different trade shows and conferences each year, so where do you start to find the right show for your company to exhibit at? We know how overwhelming it can be, with all different shows, states and venues. Your event planning partner, like Apple Rock, can help you weed through all the options to help you pick the best shows for your company.

Trade Show Planning

When filtering through all the trade show and conference options you should always keep the event goals you have already determined, at the forefront of your mind.

Randomly selecting a trade show event to exhibit in would be a disaster. You also should not automatically exhibit in a show because it has high attendance numbers or your competitors are there. In order to achieve a great return on investment (ROI), choosing the show that is the best for your company’s strategic needs is crucial.

Finding the Right Trade Show 

Before you can choose a certain trade show to exhibit in, you must know the fundamental differences between the two types of trade shows.

  1. Consumer Trade Shows are for the general public. Companies exhibiting here are looking to directly sell their products and services to consumers. Examples would be home decorating shows or RV shows. These shows generally charge admission.

  2. Trade Shows are directed at a specific industry as a whole. These shows are the place to see advancements or trends, make future buying decisions and network. Trade shows offer a broader selection of informative channels for both the attendee and the exhibitor.

Common Conference and Trade Show Questions

Now that you have considered the differences, ask yourself the following questions to further determine which show(s) is (are) the best fit for your company’s goals, products and services.

  • What is the show’s history? How long has it been around? Look back a couple of years to find out specific attendance numbers, speakers and who has exhibited. These are good indicators of the show’s success, or decline.

  • Do your products and services fit into the show’s purpose? For example, if you are an energy company you should be looking for a show that focuses on the future of energy.

  • Does the show’s demographics match the target audience you have outlined in your strategic plan? Look for a show that attracts  the right level of decision makers.

  • Are you looking to expand your company’s footprint in the industry? If your company is a smaller local or regional you should consider exhibiting in national or global shows within your industry.

Feasibility of the Trade Show or Conference

Before making the final decision,  you also need to consider cost and other factors to make sure the show is feasible and is in fact the best decision for your company. 

Estimate the costs associated with the particular show you are thinking about exhibiting in. Be sure to account for all exhibit costs (purchase or rental), space rental, show services, including shipping, drayage, install & dismantle labor, and travel expenses in mind. It could also be helpful to ask your peers and vendor partners that have participated in the same shows before for insight.

Exhibiting at the right trade show can move you in the right direction towards becoming a Qualified Leads Champ for your company, by increasing your ROI and expanding the reach of your company’s brand. If you still don’t know where to start, contact the event experts at Apple Rock, who are more than happy to help.