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How to Choose the Right Trade Show for Your Company

Trade shows offer business owners a chance to test the waters in their market segment and give seasoned entrepreneurs a peek into what their competitors are doing in the field. Trade shows can feel daunting for both new and seasoned entrepreneurs because they literally “hit the ground running” as they say.

Trade events require time, effort and significant funds to generate new customers and interest. Therefore it is imperative to plan ahead and allocate staff, promotional materials and other resources for each event. You also want to be seen at trade shows that are relevant to your business and service/ product offerings to maximize your exposure at each event.

Here are four tips to follow before showing up to your next industry event:

  • Determine the show type – Trade shows can be categorized according to the type of business they host. There are two types of shows: consumer and trade-only shows. Consumer trade shows are similar to CES, which focus primarily on reaching your everyday consumers often through heavy media presence. Trade-only shows focus on a particular market segment and attract industry decision makers there to learn and buy from other businesses.
  • Figure out your collateral materials – Attending a trade show can be very tiring. After listening to hundreds of sales pitches and walking for several miles indoors, each show can leave you exhausted. You’re also sure to be carrying bags full of marketing materials from business cards to custom pens that often get discarded after the show. As someone trying to leave your mark with prospects, the smart way to handle this issue is to figure out a budget solely for marketing materials. It makes most sense to do something more creative such as asking attendees to follow you on Twitter at the booth, not to mention more cost effective as well.
  • Check the show’s tangible qualities – Participating in a trade show is an investment which can be quite large if it’s your company’s first time. Every good investment starts with knowing that the ROI is greater than the risk. Start off and determine the hard data behind each show. These can be the relative size of the booth, the industry segment, and reviews of previous attendees, as well as the number of exhibitors, competition, publicity and costs.
  • Send your best staff – Large, established companies can afford to pay for offsite staff to man the booths at the trade shows. If you are a small company however, the best representative will always be you or your senior staff members. Make sure to budget properly to cover travel expenses apart from the actual trade show expenses to get the most return on each show.

Trade shows are substantial investments that require proper planning and execution. They are a great platform to launch a company, a new product, or to simply improve visibility in your market segment.

To help get you started on the right foot, download our free 10 Tips for a Successful Trade Show to make an impact at your next big conference and make sure to follow us on Twitter (ARTEMIA_Comm) as well.

 

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