A trade show is a private event that exhibits companies, products and services within specific industries. The goals are to share new information, demonstrate new items and provide networking and advertising opportunities to business professionals. Most shows are only open to company representatives, industry experts, potential buyers and members of the press.

Trade Show Basics

These shows are usually sponsored by industry trade groups and associations. There are thousands of host shows every year across the country covering every possible business venue. The shows are usually held in international hotels or convention facilities. Exhibition spaces are usually reserved a year in advance. They may be supported by region or national organizations, but also local Chambers of Commerce or business support groups.

Show exhibitions are the best way to quickly advertise to new customers to help a business grow. The majority of people who attend shows are the decision-maker for their organization. These shows are a cheap way to close a large amount of sales in a single event. They are popular because they sometimes include guest speakers and industry experts. Every company will have their own objectives for attending. They may only want to test the market for a new product, or they may want to obtain customer feedback regarding existing products. The heart of every show is an attractive and engaging booth.

Show Exhibit and Booth Tips

Just because a company attends a show doesn’t mean they will automatically generate sales leads. First, they must research and select the right show that will provide the best ROI in terms of financial and operational goals. Choose a show that targets the best audience to be reached and elicits the right type of audience participation. Next, learn more about the exhibit space by identifying the exact location, what other exhibits are nearby and whether the spot is in a high or low traffic area.

Plan the exhibit with the demographic audience in mind. Inform and invite clients, customers, suppliers and other contacts to attend the show. Provide them with all the details and offer exclusive deals if possible. Most industry organizations allow the exhibitors to purchase registered attendee lists, which is useful for networking and advertising purposes. Engage in social media by posting what will be promoted or given away to visitors. Use interactive displays, like computer screens and contest draws, to attract visitors, but don’t forget to use scheduled demonstration.

Potential Career

An event manager of a show will provide leadership for sales, support and marketing personnel. They work with internal and external stakeholders identify and execute goals. They manage marketing content, promotional strategies, event services, logistics coordination, budget monitoring and post-show reporting. Event managers are ultimately responsible to enhance visitor experiences, increase brand awareness, retain existing clients and generate new leads and referrals.

Depending on the industry, event managers may collaborate with brand, marketing and business development team. They may create and manage the regional or national budgets, which includes annual budget planning and monthly reconciliations. Event managers present recommendations to leadership on how to improve ROI, attendance and visitor engagement. They may provide guidance on show selection, resource allocation and marketing strategies.

A trade show is an exciting private event for business professionals to buy, sell and network. Anyone who wants to visit a show can search for one here.