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Choosing a Home Show or Trade Show

Posted by KaraWilson on 7 February 2014 | 0 Comments

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Why do we attend?

Trade shows and home shows can offer different benefits for different companies, and therefore people attend for differing reasons. Generally, only those with a sales or marketing objective will purchase a booth to exhibit, unless there is a career fair portion to the exhibition. Here are the top reasons why a business would choose to take part in a trade show:

  • Create or grow brand awareness
  • Generate leads for appointments or sales
  • Recruit new talent for the business
  • Speaking opportunity to establish higher level of credibility

How to choose a show for your business:

What are some of the factors that go in to choosing the right show for your company? Look at what industry the show is for- is it geared towards trade professionals or to the end user? Is it the biggest event of the year that everyone your profession recognizes, or a smaller event? Where is the show- do you actually offer your services to the geographical location of the attendees?

From a business perspective, different people at the show have different agendas:

  • Attendees: checking out events, networking, and educational opportunities
  • Exhibitors: build brand recognition, lead generation, networking, education, talent
  • Sponsors: build brand recognition, lead generation, networking, education, talent, speaking, exposure

Numbers you can use to track your Return on Investment (ROI):


It can be hard to track your return on investment if you haven’t identified your goals for the show. Once you can identify why you are attending, and what you hope to accomplish, you can identify your ROI for the show.

Numbers that you can track:

  • How to track your branding: # people that see brand (this number will be about 1/3 of the show attendees), # people visit booth, # people attending the show
  • How to track marketing: # flyers distributed, # items distributed
  • How to track your lead generation: # qualified leads captured, # appointments made

For companies that have a sales objective, you want to focus on the amount of qualified leads that you are able to gather in the show, and then the number of those leads that turn in to appointments or sales. In order for the value of leads turning in to appointments to be maximized, your company will need to have a plan in place to deal with the qualified leads as you get them. You will want to track your cost per lead. Low cost per lead is the goal; you want more leads for less money, however you need to make sure that they are quality leads, not quantity.

For companies that have a marketing (branding) objective, you want to focus on getting the most brand exposure possible for the least amount of dollars. You will be tracking how many people attend the show, and comparing it to the number of people that visit your booth and the number of flyers or promotional items that you have given out. You want the highest number of impressions possible, so if the ratio of people visiting the show to the number of people who see your booth is very low, there is something you need to improve to bring that number up. Don’t forget to check out the competition! You can pick up tips from their marketing campaigns as well.

Contributed by Kara Wilson at New England Design & Construction. View their blog here!

View other articles in the February 2014 Newsletter:

Choosing a Home Show or Trade Show

EM NARI Membership Orientation

Letter from the EM NARI President 2014

or View Entire EMNARI Newsletter – February 2014