What Are the Different Types of Trade Shows?

If you have been given the responsibility of marketing your organization’s products and/or services at a trade mxl tv, and you’re a novice at the task, it may not take long before you feel overwhelmed by the prospect. Where should you go? What kind of events should you attend? There are so many different types of marketing events out there, how do you decide which type is right for you and your organization? To answer that question, it’s necessary to ensure that you understand the difference between, let’s say a table top expo, an international trade show, and the others that fall somewhere in between the two.

So, let’s look at the different types of shows out there. The least expensive show is the table top expo because these tend to be very local in nature. Often sponsored by a community organization or chamber of commerce, it is possible to exhibit at a table top expo for a few hundred dollars. You will not get a targeted audience for your organization at one of these expos, but you will gain additional exposure among the members of the chamber or the association sponsoring the event. In addition, these table top expos are often organized around an educational seminar or round-table discussion. If the seminar fits your organization, and if you are able to become part of the seminar or discussion, you may see increased interest in your organization as a result of your participation in the seminar.

The next step up from the table top expo is the regional show. These shows are budget-conscious, smaller versions of national trade shows. Regional shows are often part a nationwide tour. Although many regional trade shows will offer seminars, very few of them will offer networking events. If seminars are important to your organization, regional trade shows may be right for you. But, if you’re looking for some networking opportunities, these regional shows are probably not a good fit. You will find that the attendee net stretches farther out than it does for a table top expo, but most attendees at a regional trade show will be within driving distance of the event.

It is possible to exhibit at a trade show and never leave the office. Virtual (online) shows are becoming more popular, although they lack the personal interaction so prevalent in traditional trade shows that they will likely never replace the “real thing.” On the designated show date, an interactive venue opens up online and attendees click on the areas they are interested in seeing. Exhibitors receive alerts when an attendee “enters” their booths, and, through online chat sessions, the exhibitor and the attendee can share information.

If you are looking for a multitude of activities and business-to-business opportunities, then you are probably in the market for a national trade show. Organizations from across the country travel to these events to participate and exhibit their products and services. At national shows you will find many educational seminars and networking events, presentations of industry awards, and keynote speeches given by business leaders, celebrities and comedians.

For businesses looking to expand outside the U.S., an international trade show is a viable marketing option. Deciding to attend an international show is more about building relationships with other businesses or organizations that can help you grow in that area than it is about individual sales. If you are looking for help with regional distribution or marketing in another country, then attending an international trade show in that area would be a good first step.

As you can see, there are a variety of different types of trade shows out there. We’ve really only begun to scratch the surface as to what makes each different from the other, but at least you’ve got a starting point for your search.

Charles Dugan is the proud owner of American Image Displays, a 25 yr old family owned trade show supplies company. American Image prides itself on providing trade show displays & graphics that will help GRAB your customer’s attention- delivered faster than anyone else. If we miss a scheduled delivery date, we’ll give you a FREE retractable banner stand with your custom graphic.

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