Selecting the best tradeshow for your business.

Tradeshows are a wonderful opportunity. You get to meet with clients face-to-face, make new contacts and discover new suppliers and business partners. But exhibitions aren’t a one-size-fits-all. You need to find the right tradeshow for your needs.

Do you focus on smaller venues that cost less, but generate less exposure? Or do you go big and spend more on a massive show with potentially more competition?  Let’s take a look at the decision making process, so you can find the perfect exhibition for your needs.

Ask the right questions.

What are your tradeshow goals? Who are you trying to reach? Do you want to make contacts? Sales? Increase brand awareness? All of the above?  According to the Trade Show News Network, 83% of exhibitors use tradeshows primarily to build and expand brand awareness, but tradeshow are a great place to achieve many of your marketing goals.

Identify your desired show type.

There are two main types of exhibitions: consumer shows and trade only (B2B) shows. Consumer shows are great for reaching consumers and making sales, whereas trade only shows are a great place to meet industry influencers, purchasers and buyers. Which one is best for you depends on your goals. Regardless of the show type, the main reason most people (as high as 92%) attend is to find new products.

Check out the history of the show in advance.

Where is the show located? Is it in your geographic footprint? Do the types of customers you target generally attend this show? Consider your distribution area and the type of audience that will be there. Big shows are great for lots of exposure, but a smaller, more targeted show may be preferable.

Select promotional products to make an impression.

If this is a high tech show, make sure your booth giveaway reflects this. Flash drives are always useful, as are USB accessories like lights and hubs. If the tradeshow is somewhere warm and sunny like Las Vegas or Orlando (two of the three most common tradeshow destinations, with Chicago), sunglasses and fans are fun and useful.

Choosing the perfect tradeshow means doing your homework and making a careful decision. If you choose correctly, you can see a huge spike in the aftermath.