What is a Trade Show: A Survival Guide for Beginners

Trade Show

Before we dive into the ins and outs of a trade show, let’s get one thing clear. Trade shows are not archaic in any way. They’re an essential element of what makes the business world function smoothly. Furthermore, they are still an effective means of marketing for both buyers and sellers.

The opportunity to mingle with the top companies within your industry while they present their latest products in a collaborative and engaging environment is an experience that you need to have at least once in your career.

So what exactly is a trade show?

A trade show is an exhibition that brings companies together so they can present and demonstrate their most recent offerings to the member of the trade and other businesses in the industry.

Trade shows are genuinely the window through which you can see the next iteration. Those who are able to attend gain a major leg up on their competition.

What is a Trade Show?

Associations tied to most every industry sponsor trade shows to build hype and excitement. They also strive to bring the big dogs within a given industry together to share ideas and learn from one another. Naturally, trade shows are also designed so that exhibitors can capture new leads, cultivate new business, and nurture current clients.

Attendees have access to the latest tech, most recent features, promotional pricing, and priceless insights pertaining to the state of the industry. Businesses, on the other hand, take great pride in showcasing their new offerings, make use of the time to forge relationships, interact with the press, build brand awareness, collect leads, and close deals.

Purpose of Trade Shows

What is the Point of Trade Shows?

Trade shows are the epitome of “organized chaos” due to everything that’s happening on the floor at any given moment. Due to this hectic nature, many may feel confused or unsure of what exactly is going on around them.

In order to ensure that you make the most of your time and don’t miss anything important, make sure to take notes of these staples.

Most trade shows follow a similar type of flow. This means that you can almost guarantee that you’ll take part in workshops, breakout sessions, presentations, exhibition events, press & media opportunities, networking events, and potentially even award ceremonies.

While the various elements we just listed off are trademarks of any successful trade show, they are not the main event. The main event is found on the floor!

You will find a sea of people, products, and trade show displays. Any company worth their salt will invest every ounce of their budget into their trade show display, so make sure that you do the same. If you don’t you’ll miss out on a good chunk of the trade show experience. In the end, if your display isn’t eye-catching, you won’t have any visitors with whom to engage and you’ll be standing there all alone.

5 Reasons Why Trade Shows are Priceless

The impact trade shows have on the marketing funnel has been in question for many years. This has become even more true as we’ve advanced through the digital age. However, there is no getting around the fact that there is nothing more powerful than face-to-face human interaction. No matter how engaging a webinar is, face-to-face engagement wins. No matter how effective a social media post or campaign is, in-person interactions reign supreme. This is especially true when a new product or service is the focal point and you simply need to experience it first-hand.

There are a number of reasons why trade shows are here to stay. Here are five of the top reasons why they still provide a lot of value.

Build Brand Awareness

Build Brand Awareness

Trade shows are without question one of the best avenues to get your brand’s name out to the masses. This is especially true when the masses at trade shows are industry professionals and the press. You’ll definitely want to provide key players with an opportunity to test out your product or service. While your prospects are checking out your product or service, make sure to share your goals and overarching company vision. Furthermore, trade shows provide a prime opportunity to connect with current and future clients. Doing so increases your reach beyond anywhere you’ve gone before.

Earn Targeted Leads

As mentioned above, your time on the trade show floor gives you an opportunity to engage and forge relationships with those who have never heard of your brand. This is a prime time to show them why they need your product or service. Everyone knows that selling is far easier when done face-to-face instead of bland emails and phone calls. When you develop a relationship with your future customers, you increase your chances of having them contact you to do business when the event is over.

Close Deals

Trade shows are typically invite-only. This means that the attendee list will be targeted and you’ll likely have many of them on your shortlist. That being said, you need to make the most of this opportunity. Prep your sales team with the names and faces of your ideal customers so that they’re ready to go when they hit the floor.

Soak Up Industry Insight

Female Professional Looking Out Window

Trade shows are an excellent time to take the pulse of your industry. When you’re side-by-side with your competition and learning from the brightest minds in the industry, you’ll find that you’re in a unique position. Take a lap around the floor and see what your competition is doing right and wrong. You can even act as a customer to gather intel such as pricing and new features. After exploring the floor for a few hours, you’ll have a firm understanding of your competitor’s strategies and tactics, which will help your company succeed.


This is a no-brainer. Networking is the heart and soul of the trade show scene. Make sure to save time to do so as well as attend the evening events. These casual events are a great time to mingle with the key players in your industry. You can even use your presence on social media to reach out to your top prospects beforehand so you know where to find each other.

Showcase Your Utmost Best

Trade shows are an extremely valuable component of every company’s marketing mix. This isn’t going to change any time soon since trade shows provide benefits that digital marketing solutions can’t. Now that you understand why trade shows are worthwhile, it’s time to start searching for your industry’s top shows and register. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top