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Organizing an Industry Trade Show

Organizing an Industry Trade Show

The modern internet has transformed the way that business operates. It’s now possible to communicate with would-be customers, clients, and other businesses instantaneously, from any position on the globe. And yet there’s still a place for traditional trade shows, where participants set up booths and showcase what they have to offer. But in order to get the best from an industry trade show, you’ll need to organize it in the right way.

Why are Trade Shows Beneficial?

Trades shows confer a number of benefits to both new and established businesses.

  • They’re great opportunities to network.
  • They provide a chance to examine the competition.
  • They help to raise awareness for new brands.
  • They provide businesses with targeted leads of the sort that only come about through face-to-face contact.

Tips for Organizing a Great Trade Show


The first step in putting together a worthwhile show is to get an idea of who your audience is, and what they’re looking for. You can do this market research work yourself, or you can outsource it to a third party. Another option might be to approach trade publications who’ll be able to provide insights on their subscribers.


Every industry on planet earth will have its own events and busy periods which make attending new events impracticable. When scheduling your trade show, you’ll need to keep this in mind. For example, if yours is a retail trade show, it’s probably unwise to schedule it shortly before Christmas, as many of your would-be attendees will be busy dealing with the demands of the period.


Your event needs to be situated somewhere that’s reachable by your audience. If you are putting on an event with international appeal, then it only makes sense to have it somewhere near to an international airport. It also makes sense to locate somewhere with an existing industry at hand. There’s a good reason that so many fashion shows take place in Milan. If you’re holding your event outdoors, then you’ll need to be sure that there are appropriate event structures in place to protect your attendees from poor weather.

Making Things Worthwhile

Once your trade show has been up and running for a few years, it’ll become established and trustworthy. Everyone who comes will understand that there will be like-minded people with whom they can talk, buy from, and sell to. But when you first get started, you’ll need something to draw people in. Identify the big players in the industry you’re targeting and make every effort to persuade them to come. You might offer them premium floorspace, a spot on a key panel, or other, similar incentives.

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by Dirk DeBie // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.