5 Important Things to Consider When Planning a Trade Show


The US hosts around 13,000 trade shows every year. In the pre-digital era, every trade show was a valuable opportunity to generate leads and increase sales. Nowadays, they’re more about increasing brand exposure, connecting with customers, examining the market, and checking out the competition.

While the function of trade shows may have changed over the years, these business events are more important than ever for the future success of your organization. This is why trade show planning takes a lot of time and attention to detail.

Check out this list of factors to consider when planning your next trade show.

1. Determine Your Objectives


Whatever your trade show goals are, you need to form these into a plan of attack by determining key objectives. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness, how will you put that into action at the trade show? This is a key part of the trade show planning stage as it will inform your exhibit design, marketing decisions, and more.

2. Select the Right Trade Show

With so many trade shows taking place all over the country, the task of choosing the best fit for your business can be daunting. Large shows draw in the crowds but don’t forget about the smaller, targeted trade shows as these might prove to offer a better return on investment.

Depending on your industry, you might also want to consider other relevant deciding factors. These might include the suitability of the trade show venue or whether the organizers have contracted a security service for special event purposes.

3. Create a Budget 

It’s all too easy for costs to spiral out of control without a budget to guide you. By budgeting for essentials such as space rental and staffing, you’ll know in advance how much you have to set aside for variables and small details. As seasoned exhibitors will tell you, there are many unexpected costs to cover when planning a trade show.

4. Prepare Your Exhibit and Staff

An effective trade show exhibit must reflect your objectives, both in the design and in the training of your carefully-selected staff. For example, if you plan to use product demos to connect with customers, you must incorporate space for these in your exhibit design and ensure that your staff is knowledgeable and engaging.

Your trade show booth and staff represent the image of your brand that trade show attendees will take away with them so preparing well is vital.

5. Promote Your Presence 

A compelling presentation or inviting demo might convince trade show attendees to take a closer look at your exhibit once they’re there. But isn’t it better to let them know about your exhibit ahead of time? Especially when you consider that many attendees decide which exhibits they want to check out before they arrive.

Generate anticipation about your trade show presence by spreading the word on social media, launching an email campaign, or working the phones.

Key Considerations When Planning a Trade Show

Exhibiting at a trade show can provide many unique opportunities to boost your business. But, as these key considerations show, the success of your exhibit depends on the trade show planning and preparation work you do beforehand.