Collaborative Post

How to Choose a Trade Show to Attend for Your Small Business


Attending trade shows can boost your return on investment (ROI), sales, and brand. However, they become useless if you are attending those not suitable for your business. Therefore, it is essential that you learn which events are right for you. To do this properly, here are some tips on how to choose a trade show for your small business.

Determine Your Objectives

Before starting to check which trade shows are available for you, you must be clear of what your objectives are. So, the first step is to determine your goals and what you want to achieve by participating in a trade show. Some examples are:

  • Do you want to get more leads or sales?
  • Are you introducing a new product?
  • Do you want to increase your company’s visibility?
  • Do you want to establish stronger relationships with your clients?

With your objectives in mind, you can plan accordingly and determine which actions have the highest chances of meeting them.

Trade Show
Photo by Product School on Unsplash

Learn Your Options

After learning what your objectives are, it’s time to seek out event options for you. Simply search for trade shows for your industry online. You will then see a lot of trade show calendars that include the name of the event, schedule, and other important details.

Research Each Trade Show

Once you have the list of potential trade shows you plan to attend, you now have to learn more about each one of them. Research all the essential information you will need, such as demographics and statistics of the attendees and participants of previous events. This way, you can determine which events will most likely help you attain your goals.

Apart from that, check those who will attend the upcoming event. This will help you learn more about your competitors and even contact other companies in advance. However, if you do intend to contact a company, you must only let them know that you will be in the event and that you have something valuable to offer them. Let them know that you will be more than happy to talk to them further during the trade show.

Dig Deeper Into the Event’s History

When you have narrowed your list, you need to dig deeper and learn more about these trade shows. Are they new or have they been holding events for a while now? These are good indicators that they are successful but you should not end there. 

To add, check how a trade show was advertised before and whether the organizers have a good name or not. If you know other companies that have attended the event before, you can contact them and ask how their experiences went.

Check the Timing

You also need to check the schedules of trade fairs. This is to avoid any conflicts from the trade shows that you already plan on participating in. Attending multiple events simultaneously means you have to build other trade show exhibits. This leads you to double the pay of the exhibition stall design company you have chosen, rent more trade show booths, get more staff, etc.

Another thing you need to check is the other events that will happen in the same location or city. Even if these events are not related to trade shows, they can help in maximizing your marketing efforts. You can go to these events and socialize with potential clients. This can make a huge difference in your hotel, travel, and other expenses.

Moreover, study how the timing of these events connect with the buying patterns of your customers. Is it too early or too late to market your products? Is it a good time to launch new products or services?

Find Out the Audience

Attending a trade show can have a huge impact on your business’ visibility. However, it will become pointless if the traffic going to your booth display is not relevant to your industry. Find out how much of the audience within the event’s location meet your client profile. Also, with the information you have of the attendees, determine how many of them can be your customers.

For instance, if your company offers flexible packaging solutions, check if the attendees belong to the food & beverage industry. Meanwhile, if you supply LED strip lights, find out if the attendees belong to the construction & renovation of commercial buildings, home designing, etc.

Determine Your Budget

Planning your booth display involves how much you are capable of spending. There are more things you need to look into aside from the expenses of trade show services. You also need to consider how much you are going to spend on travel & lodging, promotional materials, and your staff. 

Also, you also need to think about giving out freebies as these will surely attract people to check out your booth. For this, you should consider giving out that are of value but won’t cost you much. Some great examples of freebies are keychains, mobile stands, and perfume sample bottles.

Costs on expo events add up fast, so work on your targeted budget to prepare for unexpected expenses and avoid unnecessary ones.

Check Booth Spaces

After deciding which exhibition events you will attend, you must check the availability of booth spaces on the floor. The location of your display can significantly help in getting more traffic to your exhibit. Does the allocated space suit your booth layout? If your display is modular, what is the best design to maximize the given space? Considering these things lets you come up with the most ideal booth layout that attracts you traffic while keeping expenses at bay.

Attend a Trade Show

Doing thorough research surely helps in developing the best exhibit for your company. However, experiencing it firsthand gives you information on a different level. Check the different booths on the floor, communicate with attendees, and try out their products. Find out their strategies that entice people to visit their displays.

Also, check nearby hotels, restaurants, and transportation. Find out which ones are the best that won’t exhaust your wallet. Your team will really be happy and will be inspired to do their best on the actual event.


Participating in a trade show can truly boost the visibility of your business. Not only that, but you can also interact with different companies that you can potentially establish a long-term relationship. By following the tips above, it will be easier for you to find the trade shows that can help attain your goals. Best of luck!

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