Should I be doing a trade show?

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From industry insights and networking to brand feedback and market testing, trade shows can be a great way to grow your business and showcase your products in a beneficial environment. Before committing to one, identify whether exhibiting at a show is the right move for your brand at this stage or not. To help you out, we’ve pulled together a few things to consider and look out for.

CAN I AFFORD IT?

Reassess your company’s current position closely before signing up, and work out whether a trade show should be a priority now - or in the future. Make sure to take into consideration all costs including stand space, stand design and build, travel and accommodation/expenses for any staff. Communicating directly with the trade show staff is also important - understand what’s included with your stand and what you have to pay extra for. Trade shows are usually more expensive than you think and being aware of every little and big expense will help you avoid any unexpected hidden costs and surprises. 

ARE YOUR PRICES ATTRACTIVE?

Are you confident in your pricing? What markup are you offering to retailers? Knowing your pricing inside out might seem obvious, but it’s important to be trained and skilled in this area to achieve trade show success. 

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IS IT THE MARKET MARKET?

Getting your brand and product in front of your target audience is key. Look at the brands that have been exhibiting at the trade show previous years and assess whether your brand fits in with the calibre of brands attending. Or even better, visit the shows you’re interested in as an attendee to experience them first-hand. This will give you a clear idea as to whether the show and audience match your market. 

Being at a trade show allows you to meet and connect with prospective (and existing) customers in person, building long-lasting relationships, so if you choose the right one for you exhibiting can prove very fruitful.  

WHAT WILL YOU GET OUT OF IT?

It’s fine to have a few different goals as long as you’re clear about what you want to achieve from the trade show. Do you expect to sell a particular amount of inventory or do you want to become known to a number of wholesale suppliers? Are you launching a new product range? Are you testing the market? Or are you looking to increase your network? 

RESULTS

While trade shows are great in terms of exposure, results and leads are never guaranteed, so manage your expectations and take this into account before signing up. Even if something doesn’t result to an order straight away, any interaction you make is valuable and the people that you speak with are likely to become more responsive to you and your brand in the future. 


While trade shows are far from easy, they can be very rewarding when approached with the right strategy. Top Drawer, Pure, Spring & Autumn Fair..there are a lot of different trade shows out there so it’s important to identify the right for your brand, market and product range. Read our top tips for choosing the right one for your brand here. Ready for more PR? We’re here to give you the contacts, community, advice & support you need to get the coverage you deserve. You can find out more about our memberships here.

Rosie Davies