6 Steps To Choosing The Right Trade Show Event For Your Brand

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If you’re looking for the best trade show event to showcase your brand, read our 6 step guide on how to make the right decision for your company.

With so many trade show options out there to draw in new prospects, it can be hard to know where to begin. As well as offering a stellar opportunity for growth, hosting a booth at an event in your industry can encourage a speedier return than most marketing strategies. All while giving you a unique chance to connect with potential future customers and exchange insights with peers. 

If you’re a marketing manager or a business owner looking for advice on how to pick the right trade show event to showcase your brand, you’ve come to the right place. 

Keep reading to discover our essential checklist of everything you should think about before booking in your ideal showcase. 

Consider Your Audience

First thing’s first. It doesn’t matter if you’re attending the largest event in your industry with the highest volume of attendees. If your message doesn’t connect with your specific target audience, you’re unlikely to see the returns you’ve planned for.

One of the best ways to put your audience first is by reaching out to current customers, partners, and prospects to find out their perspective. Ask them if they’ve attended the show before and whether or not they would return for another visit. As well as getting some much-needed feedback, you’ll be able to gauge a general consensus on the event and how much of your industry are actually gravitating towards it. 

To consider whether an event is going to attract the right audience, follow these steps:

  • Reach out to the production company and get as much information as possible
  • Don’t be afraid to ask them about their audience and for some percentages
  • Create an ideal customer profile and compare it to each potential event

Studies have found that 46% of attendees only go to one trade show per year, demonstrating how specific an event’s audience can be. Choose the one that’s most suited to your business and you’ll be onto a winner!

Think About Your Goals

Now you’ve got your audience nailed, the next thing on your list should be creating goals that represent the needs of your business. Establishing a series of aims will not only give your event planning focus, it will also give you some much-needed criteria for choosing the right event for you. 

Some of the goals and metrics you might consider include:

  • How many new prospects do you hope to attract?
  • How many sales are you expecting to get over the line?
  • How many existing customers do you want to engage with?
  • How much brand merchandise do you want to pass out?

Despite these metrics being super easy to track, they’ll provide you with a lot of information about the level of your return on your investment. 

As well as the metric-based questions, you can also consider some wider goals to help you decide which event is the best choice for your requirements. For example, it’s a good idea to create goals surrounding brand awareness, launching new products, or publicity following the event. 

Weigh up your event options with your goals firmly in mind to ensure you make the right choice to achieve trade show success.

Use Data to Your Advantage When Selecting the Right Event

Data analysis is a fundamental part of any good marketing strategy, and planning a trade show event shouldn’t be an exception. 

To find out whether the event you’re considering is the right choice for you, it makes sense to establish a data set of events to select from. Each potential option can be scored individually, based on their visual appeal, statistical success, and a whole range of other factors. 

Make a list of the metrics that matter most to your needs and rank your prospective events accordingly. It will quickly become clear which one is the right choice for your business.

Invest Time in Event Research and Discovery 

You’ve all heard it before: fail to prepare, prepare to fail. The same applies to the process of choosing the right event for your business.

If you rush in and book in with the first option that comes up in Google, you could potentially be missing out on thousands of shows which are better suited to your target audience. To discover the true value of each event, you must do your research. 

Dig up everything you can, including:

  • Show demographics
  • Key statistics 
  • Attendee numbers
  • Companies in attendance
  • Floor plans from previous years

This information is readily available when requested from the production company running the event. Not only will it reveal some key insights, but it will also make the final choice a whole lot easier.

If you’re a marketing manager or you’re planning on your CEO’s behalf, it’s likely that they’ll want to see some supporting evidence regarding your decision. Having all of these statistics to back you up will certainly serve you well, especially when it comes to explaining your rankings.

Reputation and Ranking Should Be a Priority

One of the best ways to choose the ideal event for showcasing your brand is to research and rank by reputation. Some trade shows invest huge amounts of money into their marketing, but how successful will they actually be for achieving your goals?

Once you’ve established a list of potential options based on your aims, data sets, and audience, you can then start considering reputation.

  • Reach out to other companies who have attended to get their perspective 
  • Try searching them on Google and seeing how highly they rank
  • Are other events ranking higher when it comes to your industry?

An event’s reputation should be high on the list of priorities when it comes to choosing the right show. Considering how they rank on search engines is a big part of this so be sure to bear that factor in mind!

Research Your Timings to Get a Speedy Return

The timing of an event could be the make-or-break factor when it comes to securing a fast return or losing out on your investment entirely. If other shows are happening at the same time, you’re less likely to see your whole target audience in attendance, especially if the show you’ve chosen is more niche.

When deciding on the best timings for your chosen show, you should consider:

  • Time of year in the city: will accommodation and transport be more expensive?
  • Buying pattern of your customer: are sales likely to be made right there and then?
  • Your own schedules: will your product or service be ready on time?

In an ideal scenario, you’ll see a return on your investment almost immediately after your event. Cash flow is often a difficult factor to navigate, so choosing an event where an immediate return is more likely will make for a wise decision in the long run.

That’s it for our top tips for choosing the best event to showcase your brand. If you’re looking for some much-needed guidance on all things event management or trade show marketing, get in touch with Regis today.