Selecting the right trade shows for your company to attend can be quite an overwhelming challenge. Besides the massive number of annual events that take place all over the world, there is also new trade shows constantly exploding onto the scene each year that need to be taken into consideration. So how does one even begin to identify the right trade shows to exhibit at?
A veteran trade show exhibitor can attest that the best way to meet this challenge is to have a solid plan in place by first determining his or her company’s market, sales goals and promotional objectives. Once these target objectives are fully understood, the exhibitor can begin to identify the proper trade show for his or her industry.
According to Skip Cox, president of Exhibit Surveys Inc., a trade show industry research firm based in Red Bank, New Jersey, the trade show selection process should begin with serious background research. Here are a couple of his tips on how you can research the right trade show for your company:
1. Research the trends in your industry – new technologies, competitors’ preferences, customers’ bias and so on. Then search for trade shows that reflect these trends. Read trade publications in your field, as they are a very good source of the latest news in your industry. Contact the editorial staff of trade publications to learn more about the latest breakthroughs in your business arena. Conduct Internet research on companies that are making news with exciting new products or services in your field. Contact your trade associations to explore what companies they believe are leading the way. Then, seek out trade shows that are in tune with these trends.
2. Interview your co-workers and people in your field as to what trade shows match up with your client’s needs. By zeroing in on your client’s profile, you can determine what trade shows mirror your needs. Get input from your top marketing and upper management staff to determine what your market is. In addition, get feedback from your product and marketing managers and also your field salespeople who are normally face-to-face with clients and have a real understanding of their needs.
In fact, according to an Exhibitor Magazine survey of trade show exhibit managers who sought help in selecting trade shows to attend, the most influential input on selecting trade shows came from the sales staff (35%). They were followed by:
• Marketing Staff (32%)
• Show Management Statistics (24%)
• Upper Management (20%)
• Following where the competition goes (20%)
• Customer Suggestions (18%)
• Other (12%)
• Product Development Staff (8%)
The respondents checked off all of the resources that applied.
SOURCE: Dick Wheeler, ProExhibits.com
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