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6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying a Trade Show Exhibit

How much is my average customer worth to me?

Take your total sales and divide by the number of customers that you made a sale to in a given time period (year, month, week).  Some companies find that their average customer value is millions of dollars.  Others find that their average sale is a few hundred dollars. You should also factor in whether your customers buy once or multiple times over several years.

How Much Is My Average Customer Worth To Me
What trade shows will I be exhibiting at

What trade shows will I be exhibiting at?

Does your industry offer you 60 potential trade shows a year, meaning you are going to be using your exhibit all year long, practically every week?  Or is there just one big industry wide show that you HAVE to attend and make a big splash at.  You might be somewhere in the middle with one or two big shows and a handful of smaller, related trade shows and meetings that you usually exhibit at.

Do I need more than one exhibit?

If you have answered the above question accurately, then you already have the answer.  If your trade shows overlap multiple times a year, then you may want to consider multiple trade show displays.  If you only exhibit a few times a year, then maybe not.  But also consider that some shows are less important than others and you may not need the expensive 20’x30’ island exhibit at a show that only requires a 10’x10’ inline booth.
In other words, you should match the right exhibit to each show.

Do I need more than one exhibit
budget for a trade show exhibit

What is my budget for a trade show exhibit?

There are numerous expenses associated with exhibiting at a show.  There is travel, hotel, food, entertainment, renting the exhibit booth, buying the exhibit, promotion, etc…  One way to look at it is to measure your potential success at a show.  If you know how much your average customer is worth to you for one sale or multiple sales via repeat business, then the decision on how much to spend on an exhibit may be easier.  Match that up with the show’s attendee information to get an idea of how many potential customers will be attending.  Just like other business investments, you are trying to measure your ROI.  This isn’t always easy.  You may find that the show you are planning on attending is only expected to have a small percentage of your type of potential customer.  Why waste the big money on a show like that?  On the other hand, if those few prospects offer you a very high value for each one you land, then it may be a good idea to not only attend but spend the money on the exhibit.

What do I think my competition is doing this year?

Look at your competitors.  What did they do last year?  Was their booth filled while yours remained sparsely populated?  What location on the exhibit floor did they have compared to yours?  Have you heard they are planning a big push at the next big industry trade show or are they cutting space and booth staff?  If you have an idea of what your competition has planned, you might be able to adapt accordingly.

What do I think my competition is doing this year
trade show strategy

What kind of exhibit will match with my trade show strategy?

You may be launching a new product, expanding your customer base or reconnecting with existing customers.  You may want your trade show display to be about entertainment. You may just want to show that you are king of the hill.  Whatever your strategy or idea, there are numerous trade show displays to choose from.  Even if none are out there that fit the bill, you can have a custom trade show exhibit made from scratch.  Obviously, there are the standard pop up displays that come in various formats.  There are also hybrid displays, truss exhibits, fabric tension displays, graphic walls, custom modular systems and more.  Think about your brand, colors, space, podiums, accessories, seating and whatever else you will need to make your show a success.