Find the right trade show

Tradeshow lady 9586480Sales, promotion and relationship-building are some of the main reasons to exhibit as a vendor at a trade show. Participating in a show costs time and money, but thorough preparations can help you to get the most out of it. The key is choosing the right one.

Start by deciding what you want from the experience. Be realistic about your expectations and narrow down your goals. For example, are you hoping to:

Next, you'll want to look for shows that have the potential to meet those needs. Points you might consider:

Learn more about a trade show to ensure it is the best option for your business.

Find out if anyone in your network has attended in the past, or attend the show first as a visitor to get a feel for it.

After you make your choice, you’ll want to plan ahead. Getting ready for a major trade show can take a year or more, so be sure to leave enough time for your preparations.

To find shows, a number of resources can help. Websites can help refine the search by industry or country. Other information sources might include:

If you are looking at export markets, consider registering for the Virtual Trade Commissioner to learn of upcoming events within your industry in markets abroad.

For more information on preparing for a trade show, take a look at our section on Trade show marketing.

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