Regardless of what industry you’re in, most trade shows exhibitors are loyal to their favorites. However, what happens when your ROI is falling short? Or when you’re looking to expand into a new market? There are many factors to consider when trying to figure out which trade show to attend. Below are 6 tips to get you started. 

Establish your intent

Before you begin to look at which trade show options are available, you have to establish your objectives and strategy. You can start by figuring out what it is you want to accomplish by attending the trade show. Are you wanting to increase leads or sales? Raise awareness about your company? Strengthen your relationship with customers? Or launch a new product or service? After you have established this, then you should begin to search for trade show options.

Know your options

There are constantly new trade shows popping up across the globe. You can spend hours researching trade shows. One you have a few options in mind, you can start your research to learn more about each. This will help you figure out how each show can contribute to helping you accomplish your objectives. Find everything you can from shows statistics and demographics to a list of previous years participants and attendee numbers. This information is usually readily available and can help you quickly narrow down your list.

Consider the timing

When evaluating trade shows, don’t forget to look into if there are any conflicting events you already have planned. Concurrent shows can double your expenses if you have to create a second show exhibit. You should also look into what other events are taking place in the same city during that time frame. Even if they aren’t trade show related, an influx of people can make a huge difference in flights, hotel rates and transportation. Lastly, consider how the timing of the trade show aligns with your customers buying patterns. 

Establish a budget

It doesn’t matter how perfect a trade show looks on paper if you can’t afford to exhibit. In addition to the cost to rent booth space and your booth design, remember to factor in show services, travel and expenses, promotional material, and shipping. These costs can add up quickly, so make sure you plan ahead to avoid any surprises costs later. 

Evaluate press opportunities

In addition to the event itself, what other marketing possibilities can the show offer? Are there educational seminars that you can participate in or any sponsorship opportunities? If you decide to attend the trade show, contact the press early and send them information about your company. These valuable marketing opportunities can increase your ROI. 

Understand the audience

A trade show can be the largest in its industry or have a massive amount of attendees each year, but that doesn’t mean much if your booth traffic doesn’t align with your target audience. You have to look beyond the initial numbers and look into what percentage of attendees actually fit your customer profile.