Attending the right tradeshow can mean the difference between garnering qualified customers and earning a high ROI, and spending time, money and effort with little to no return. Doing your homework to find the best tradeshows to attend and exhibit at is worth the energy. Here are some tips to help you identify the best options.
Define your ‘why’
First and foremost, define your goals for attending. Are you looking to gain new customers? Showcase a new product or service and simply get eyes on and chatter started about the offering? Are you looking to increase your brand awareness as a leader in the industry? Or perhaps your intent is to sleuth out the competition? Clearly defining your reasons for attending or exhibiting at a tradeshow will help drive the rest of your search.
Seek and ye shall find
Once your goals are in place, begin your search for shows. Conduct some research on potential shows and make a list, preferably a year in advance. Look for all of the large shows in your industry. Look for shows within a certain radius of your target demographic. Talk to your top customers and ask what shows they attend. Have the same discussion with your strategic partners and even your competitors if they are up for it.
There are some very robust online resources to help you find shows fitting your specific criteria. Websites such as TSNN.com and EventsInAmerica.com offer filters to improve your search. You can search by industry, location, time of year, and even add your own event if you happen to be hosting one.
Put on your detective hat
Once you have identified some contenders, it’s time to do your homework. You need to evaluate the show’s potential by gathering as much information as possible. Ask for show statistics, demographics and review lists of past participants. Search the show’s social media spaces and read the comments from exhibiters and event goers alike. Make sure the shows you choose meet your intended goals and do as much digging as you need to get the most accurate picture of potential return.
Check it out, then commit
Consider attending the show(s) this year that you plan to exhibit at next year. This gives you the opportunity to scope out the potential ROI firsthand and at a much lower cost to the sum of exhibiting. You will gain the knowledge of pros and cons so you can make the most informed decision.
Cost vs. ROI
Take into consideration your tradeshow budget when making the final decision on which events to attend. Stick to the budget as much as you stick to the goals you’ve defined. This will give you the best math to measure your ROI and identify which shows are worth your time and effort and which may not be quite right for you.
You’ve identified your goals, you’ve done your homework, you’ve chosen which shows to exhibit at; now it’s time to build the perfect exhibit. EXHIB-IT! provides all sorts of trade show displays from standard to fully custom. Give us a call today at 1-877-964-1965 for a free consultation.