Targeting the Right Trade Show for Your Company

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,

For more information on best practices for trade shows, we invite you to visit our Learning Center at:

The Pitfalls of Too Much Marketing

No matter what role you play within a business, you share a universal mission… to reach customers and prospects.

What steps do you take to carry out this mission? You might start by sending out marketing materials, then more, then more… Yet you still don’t receive the response you want. In fact, the response is actually decreasing now, which instinctively makes you try harder. At this point, you’re running into a common problem – over-marketing.

Is it possible to over-market? It sure is. In fact, this is actually a very detrimental activity for a business.

When you decide to directly market to your prospects, either through social media, email, or printed materials like direct mail pieces, it’s important to be careful how you do it. It’s easy to cross the line into spamming and degrade your image.

Choosing how to conduct your marketing activities depends on the type of business you’re a part of, and what you are trying to sell. To avoid turning off your customers and decreasing your prospects, choose your marketing tactics carefully.

A good rule of thumb is don’t repetitively spam your prospects with emails, direct mail or other marketing materials in a very short period of time. It’s like receiving a phone call everyday from the same company, saying the same thing, with the same tone, and the same words. It’s vital to schedule e-mail blasts and direct mailings at appropriately spaced intervals so clients and prospects aren’t bombarded and turned off by your marketing. In fact, creating regularly scheduled e-mail blasts will help your marketing efforts become more focused and even attract more customers and prospects in the long run.

If you need to increase interaction with your prospects, vary your materials and let them have the option to view it rather than forcing it upon them. Employ more inbound marketing strategies. Save the messages you really want them to see for planned campaigns and outbound marketing. By doing this, you will get their attention when you really need it, but not turn them off by continuously shoving a bug in their ear.

SOURCE: Elizabeth Armenta,


How much marketing is too much? We would love to hear your feedback!

The Advantages of Working With Small Businesses

If you have ever had the opportunity to work with a small business, it’s easy to notice they possess natural advantages that are increasingly favored in the realms of both B2B and B2C alike. Small companies have the ability to offer unique solutions and service their clients in an entirely different way than larger corporations… So you may ask what exactly sets small businesses apart from their larger competitors?

This list of traits illustrates the advantages of working with small businesses:


In order to survive, most small businesses adopt focus on a specific niche. In doing so, they develop a premium reputation for being able to serve the demand for that niche.


Small business owners are so close to their clients that they can experience what each client experiences. They can deliver CEO level experience to every client they work with, no matter how big or small.


Small businesses grow with customer needs. Often, they can provide products and services that address highly personalized requests at a moments notice.


The best small businesses understand the value of surprising their clients from time to time. A simple interrupt in the system can even become a system for a small business.


Smart small businesses create networks of strategic partners and address the needs of their clients with the best and brightest every time.


The proper use of technology allows small businesses to put up big shop follow-up, service and prospecting without the overhead.


Small businesses want to educate their prospects before they trying to break ground selling to them. This trust building process makes selling unnecessary and delivers the ideal client relationships.


It’s all about establishing personal connections and creating professional relationships. Clients form partnerships with small businesses when they have the ability to connect to something beyond their products and services.

SOURCE: John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing


We would like to hear about your experiences working with small businesses! What aspects of your experience really stood out and benefited the end result of your professional partnership?