Before signing up to attend an exhibition which is a large undertaking both in commitment to time, people and money you need to undertake market analysis and understand your company’s market, its market strategy and its objectives.
Market Analysis of Your Company Market and Objectives
Before researching which exhibition to attend you first need to understand your own company’s specific marketing objectives and strategy. This includes:
- Market environment, and market share trends
- Your customers
- Your competition using SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis
- Your company strategy and marketing objectives
It is essential that you undertake research about the exhibition before deciding to book a stand space. Unfortunately many companies fail to do this, resulting in very poor outcomes, being out of pocket and putting off exhibiting at further exhibitions in the future.
The simple way of researching whether to attend a trade show is to ask the exhibition organisers for last year’s exhibitors lists and visitor attendance records including demographics of attendees numbers, job roles etc.
Speak to previous exhibitors to find out their experiences and return on investment. It is amazing the information that can be gleaned in this way. For example comments might include, “The show was good but we were in the wrong hall, Hall 2 had most people because that was where the restaurant was”. Or “Yes there were lots of exhibition visitors but unfortunately they were not the decision makers.” The exhibition industry, like most others, has a series of professional publications that list the major events around the world.
The credentials of any show can be established by checking how long it has been going and its relevance to the products or services on offer. Also consider the exhibition’s ability to attract the market leaders to exhibit, and the decision makers to visit and the level of advertising and promotion for the event.
Before you book trade show stands it is imperative that you undertake some research to identify the right trade show so that you get a good return on your investment. There are many ways in which you can research a show’s success before you book or design any trade show stands.
Publications like ‘Exhibition Bulletin’ will list shows by venue, industry type and time of year. Exhibition Bulletin runs regular features such as Audit Watch. Here you will be able to see which trade shows are in decline and which shows are improving their attendance levels and exhibitor numbers. By speaking to the organisers you should be able to get hold of previous year’s exhibition catalogues to see which clients are rebooking their trade show stands and which ones are not. It is always a good idea to speak to these companies to find out why they have rebooked their trade show stand, who attends the show and how successful it was for them. Obviously you need to make sure that the types of visitors are right for your organisation and products or services.
Resources & Information Available
- Association of Exhibition Organisers
- National Outdoor Events Association
- Exhibition Venues Association
- Access Displays
- Exhibition Bulletin
Online Resources to Source Trade Shows
See more at Trade-Show-Advisor.com
Create Your Own Database of Exhibitions
Create your own company database of exhibitions with pertinent information, so that it is easy to review which are suitable to attend such as:
- Year quarter
- Start and finish date
- Name of event
- Theme of trade show
- City & country
- Organiser contact
- Target industries
- Target audience
- Budget cost to exhibit – space only, shell system
- Number of attendees in previous year
- Speaker opportunities
- Final call for papers date
- Is sponsorship available?
The above suggestions should assist in making your decision to which Trade Show to exhibit at easier.