Top 5 Reasons to Avoid Exhibiting at Trade Shows

Sure, trade shows are a great way to showcase your products and services to a wide audience; but, have you ever stopped to consider if trade shows are a good fit for your business?

Considering the money and time that goes into this kind of investment, it’s worth going over a few things before you decide on exhibiting at a trade show.

So, should I exhibit at a trade show?

Here are our top 5 reasons you should avoid exhibiting at a given trade show:

1. Audience Mismatch

Not every trade show is going to be filled with your target audience. For example, if your target audience is high-tech millennials, then old-school industry trade shows are generally not going to have the right attendees. Or, if you are only looking to franchise, then going to a non-franchise focused trade show is probably not going to yield the leads you desire.


If you see your competition constantly going to a trade show, that does not necessarily mean trade shows are right for you (even if your business is slightly different). Before you invest thousands, do your research, look up the history of the trade show and its typical attendees, as well as how many leads or business deals can be expected. Think smarter than your competition.

3. Time Conflict

If the timing of a given trade show is in conflict with customer meetings, a pre-scheduled business function, or, even another trade show that’s more compatible with your line of business, you might be better off skipping that trade show.

4. Cost

If you are a startup or a small business with little budget for a trade show, maybe, wait a few years before you attend a trade show. Once you have the budget allocated, then foray into the trade show waters.

5. Lack of Preparation

Many times, businesses sign up for trade shows at the 11th hour. A lot goes into coordinating the booth, trade show displays, chairs, tables, marketing material, etc., which is why you do not want to rush it. If the show is in 2-weeks and you sign up today, you are going to be incredibly stressed.

We aren’t saying you should never exhibit at a trade show. Trade shows can offer value to every business, in every industry. But, if you feel like you are not ready, don’t rush it! Throwing money at the wall is often not a wise idea. Take your time, do your homework, and you’ll know when the time is right.

… and, when you are ready to exhibit at trade shows, use ExhibitDay to plan your trade shows and collaborate with your event team to get things done.

8 Reasons Why it’s Important to Exhibit at a Trade Show

It takes a lot of time, money, and energy to create a successful and attractive exhibit booth at a trade show. Plus, you may have to travel a long distance to get to the conference venue, and training your employees and sales staff on properly projecting the image of your brand can be overwhelming.

Your trade show exhibit strategy must be based on a well-developed plan which achieves the marketing objectives of your business. Otherwise, the exhibit can be a failed investment that does little to help with your business goals.

Exhibiting at a trade show is a powerful marketing strategy that can quickly advance your business by earning you more brand-awareness, leads and customers — especially if you’re introducing a new and innovative product or service.

So, why is it important for your business to exhibit at a trade show?

1) Capturing Leads

Trade shows give you the opportunity to generate leads for your business. You just need to request contact information from exhibit hall attendees (so that you can contact them again in the future with your promotional materials). When attendees walk by your booth, connect with them, tell them about your products and offerings, ask for a business card or have them fill out a small questionnaire.

2) In-Person Marketing

Potential clients like to see a face attached to a brand. Trade shows allow clients to finally meet company founders, leaders or representatives and talk to them for the first time. This is a great way of winning over a potential customer and turning them into a real, life-long client.

3) Brand Promotion

Big corporations and small businesses can benefit from promoting their brand at trade shows. There are plenty of interested consumers walking around looking for the next great product to purchase. A simple standard exhibit booth (10’ x 10’ in size) is typically good for establishing product displays and kiosks.

4) Making Sales

Thousands of people attend trade shows because they’re looking for a new product or service that will solve their problems. If you happen to showcase the product or service they are looking for, you may be able to generate more than just leads at a trade show. You may generate actual sales from new customers who you would otherwise may not have been able reach.

5) Analyzing the Competition

Trade shows create a rare opportunity for you to snoop around and see what your competitors are doing at their exhibits. You can even pose as an interested customer by asking questions from your competitors at their exhibit stands. Study their answers and overall presentation because they can inadvertently provide ideas on how to conduct your own exhibit.

6) Introducing a New Product or Service

Trade shows are mostly about introducing the latest and greatest products or service offerings to a targeted audience of professionals in an industry. This can be more effective than online or print advertising because there is a live audience that gets to witness your product or service in person. If you’re selling something tangible, then the audience is bound to see it up close and experience it first-hand.

7) Building Business Relationships

Trade shows are not all about trying to outdo other competing businesses. Sometimes, you find partners or other companies that can actually help your business succeed. For instance, if you own a manufacturing company and connect with a logistics company at the trade show, then you have found a potential company to build a business relationship with; as a result, the logistics of getting your products from the manufacturing line to the retail line will get a whole lot easier that way.

8) Gathering Customer Feedback

You will receive direct and honest feedback from your target audience at trade shows. This is unlike online feedback (where people can often be trolling, or be insincere in their remarks). As a business owner, you will want to hear this honest feedback because it will help you introduce better products or services for your customers in the future.