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The Importance of Selecting the Right Shows


What does your current show selection process entail? When planning and deciding which events to attend, do you consider the return on investment and what your brand will get out of a particular trade show?

Calculating the ROI for trade shows and events is one of the most important steps to take when determining whether you should continue attending an event or if you and your team should go elsewhere.

If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to evaluating your current show list or making plans for the future, keep reading. Outlined below are some expert-level tips that can help.

Know Your Objectives

Before you can evaluate the ROI of a particular trade show, you and your team first need to sit down and think about what, for you, constitutes a return. What makes a particular show worth attending or returning to year after year?

To figure out the answer to this question, take a step back and think about what you’re trying to get out of attending trade shows.

Are you using them as lead generation opportunities? Do you want to sell a specific number of products? Are you trying to foster partnerships with other brands?

Once you’ve established your objectives, it’ll be easier to determine whether or not attending a particular show is helping you to meet them.

Consider the Show’s Location

After establishing your objectives, one of the most important trade show tips to keep in mind is to consider the event’s location.

Remember, between 40 and 60 percent of attendees travel 200 miles or less from the host city. If you’re considering a specific show, take note of your target audience’s location and assess how close it is to the city where the trade show is located.

Assessing location and proximity to your audience will help you settle on whether or not it’s worth it for you and your team to travel there and set up a booth.

Consult Your Customers

Speaking of your audience, don’t forget to consult your customers directly.

Reach out to them via social media, email, etc., and find out which trade shows they are most likely to attend. You can also ask questions about their opinions on trade shows in general and whether they enjoy visiting them to connect with brands, learn about new products, or make purchases.

If you find that a significant portion of your audience is planning on attending a particular event, this can help you to gauge the type of return you’re likely to see from establishing a presence there.

Research the Show’s History

If you’re thinking about exhibiting at an event, do some digging into its history. The following are some questions you’ll want to ask when researching a trade show:

  • How long has it been around?
  • How much does it cost to attend?
  • How many businesses have attended in past years?
  • Which specific businesses have attended in the past?

Finding the answer to this last question can be particularly helpful. You may even want to contact some of the past attendees (as long as they’re not direct competitors of yours) to see what their experience was likely and what kinds of results they saw from the show you’re considering.

Ask About Show Promotion

During your research, take note of how the show has been promoted in the past, too. You may even want to get in touch with a representative from the show directly to get more in-depth information.

Learning about show promotion can help you to get a better idea of how much reach your brand will have during the event. For example, if the show isn’t heavily promoted, you may not have as many opportunities to showcase your products as you would if the show organizers placed a greater emphasis on marketing and advertising.

Ask About Sponsorship Options

Finally, consult representatives from the show to ask about sponsorship options.

Sponsorships allow you to expand your brand’s reach and have a bigger presence at a particular trade show. This, in turn, can result in more effective lead generation efforts and more sales.

Find out what sponsorships each show has to offer. Then, discuss with your team to decide if this sponsorship opportunity will help you achieve your specific objectives and enjoy the types of returns you’re hoping to get from attending trade shows.

Calculate the ROI of Your Next Trade Show Today

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when you’re putting together your trade show schedule and choosing which events to attend.

If you need extra help figuring out the ROI of a particular event, be sure to give our ROI calculator a try, too. It makes it easier than ever for you to figure out what you’ll get back after attending a specific trade show.

With all of this information at your fingertips, you’ll have no trouble making the best decisions for your team and your brand as a whole.