How Trade Shows Work

Selecting the Right Shows

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When thinking about traveling to trade shows, your first thought is probably, "Okay, which shows are being held in Vegas?" However, with over 9,000 trade shows being held every year, you have to make your choices wisely to stretch your marketing dollar, because even though trade shows give you a great bang for the buck, they also cost quite a bit to attend. You and your booth staffers (those are the people who stand in the booth and tell visitors about your business -- and hopefully sell your products or services) may not want to go to Milwaukee in January; but if that's where the best show is, then that's where you have to send them. But which shows are the best shows?

The first place to start is with your industry's associations. These shows will typically be targeted right to your market, and often are reasonable in cost. You can also check with the trade publications you advertise in (or perhaps should be advertising in). Another resource is, of course, the Web. Go to,, or for directories of shows around the world in all types of industries. No list is entirely complete, however, so make sure you go to more than one directory.