Choosing the right trade show: how do you narrow it down?

On average, there are an estimated 14,000 to 15,000 trade shows in North America each year.

This is quite an impressive number.

If you’re planning to attend a trade show in the near future, it’s best to make the right choice or risk getting lost in the crowd of exhibitors.

But how do you choose the right trade show for your business?

Our experts in trade show booth design and manufacturing can help you decide which factors to consider before making your choice.

Define your goals

The first step in choosing the right trade show for your business is to identify your goals. Why do you want to participate in a trade show?

There are several reasons why you may want to attend a trade show:

  • Increase your brand awareness or image
  • Introduce new products or services
  • Develop new strategic partnerships
  • Analyze the competition and better understand how they operate
  • Acquire new customers

Participating in a trade show is not something you do for no reason. Ideally, you will want to generate some form of return on investment. Identifying your goals early on will help you effectively plan your next trade show exhibit.

Find out who’s visiting the show

The audience for trade shows varies enormously from show to show. Before choosing your trade show, you need to identify the profile of the target audience you are interested in.

Are you aiming for:

  • Buyers
  • Suppliers
  • Distributors
  • Tech partners?

There are 2 main types of trade shows: trade shows for consumers and trade shows for professionals.

Trade fairs for the general public are excellent for presenting new products or services and establishing direct contact with customers.

Trade shows for professionals are perfect for expanding your network, doing competitive research and finding new suppliers or partners.

Your company won’t fit in with every trade show. Comparing your target audience with the event’s audience will help you choose the right trade show for your business.

Review the reputation of the show

The reputation of the trade show is a major factor when choosing one.

A recognized trade show will probably attract a larger crowd and generate better media coverage. When a well-attended event arrives in town, the media reports on it and this helps generate buzz – which is actually a form of free publicity.

However, a new show or a show without a good reputation may not attract the same media attention.

Consider the reputation of the event before choosing your trade show.

Other factors to consider

Various other factors should also be taken into consideration when choosing your trade show. Let’s go over them.

The cost of participating in the exhibition

The costs involved in your participation should fit within your budget, as some trade shows are more expensive than others. We also encourage you to read our article on the costs of attending a trade show.

Entrance fee

A free trade show is likely to attract a larger crowd. Needless to say, this crowd must match your target audience.


To participate in the trade show, you will need a trade show booth, a team of employees and a host of accessories and supplies. If the trade show is being held outdoors, you’ll also need to think about logistics and transportation.

Other factors such as the dates and duration of the trade show, the quantity and quality of visitors should also be considered when choosing the right trade show.

Choose the right trade show and achieve success

As you can see, choosing your trade show is not that simple. It takes time and a certain level of analysis. But when this work is well executed, you greatly improve your chances of generating a better return on investment.

If you have any additional questions, contact us now! Our booth manufacturing experts will be happy to help you.