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Spring is coming and with it comes trade show season! Exhibiting at trade shows can be a very effective marketing activity. It also can be a black hole where your dump your money, time, and energy for little or no return. Savvy marketers know that trade shows can be very successful if strategically planned in advance. There's a lot more work involved in trade show marketing than setting up a booth and giving away branded chachkies in return for a business card in a fishbowl. Follow these five steps to marketing your next trade show and you'll see a much better return on your investment I promise!

  1. 1) Research. Take your time to research and select trade shows where your target market will be. It's OK to exhibit at a trade show where the industry focus is different than yours, as long as your potential customers will be attending the show. Take a close look at the cost to exhibit and expected foot traffic, then set up a goal for conversion after all, this is a marketing investment. If the numbers are not working right, attend the event first before committing to it. You can still network and do business as an attendee.
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