Is there still value in exhibiting at a trade show?

What's the value of exhibiting at a trade show All together now, YES! According to Exhibit Surveys Inc.’s annual Trade Show Trends report, exhibitors should be busy (cheering!) and planning their trade show schedule after seeing a significant industry bounce back in 2012.

Sales drive business and 84% of attendees walking the trade show floor can influence the purchasing decision-maker or are the purchasing decision-maker. That’s up 3% compared to 2011! That’s huge and only going to increase!  But when your business invests time, money and energy into exhibiting, what’s the value? And, does the value differ for exhibitors and attendees? You betcha!


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You should measure ROO and ROI all day long. There’s value in knowing how to improve upon your objectives for the next show, and calculating the financial outcome from show to show. Below are what we consider to be the top four value-packed reasons why companies should continue exhibiting at trade shows. For our full list, take a moment to read “7 reasons why you need to exhibit at a trade show this year”.


  1. You solidify personal connections with prospects in all stages of the buying cycle. Cultivate these relationships and you have qualified leads for years to come.

  2. You walk away from a show with knowledge, and knowledge is power. You can keep an eye on your competition, stay on top of trade show trends and take away a fresh perspective of the industry.

  3. Exhibiting shows the world your level of commitment, and the value you place on what you’re offering. By being absent you send a negative message that people might mistake for disengagement, and you’re letting your competitors seize the show.

  4. What every exhibitor dreams of, a plethora of qualified leads… and during a trade show you could get hundreds per hour! Your week-long telecommunications can’t even compare to one show.

It should be helpful for exhibitors to know what attendees value as well. To better understand what attendees’ expectations and goals are can help you plan you show presence. Don’t rely on your portable display walls or custom trade show booth displays to do all your work for you!


Show attendees are a diverse bunch, and often have many different agendas while attending a show. The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) has issued a new report that states 69% of attendees come to shop, and 66% come to learn. You have attendees perusing the booths looking to make new business connections, scope out competitors, reporting back to a purchasing decision-maker, interested in purchasing themselves, or scoping our trade show trends. Despite why they’re there, here are the three value-packed reasons attendees, well, attend!

  1. They want to establish the same personal connections that exhibitors are seeking. They’re looking to interact with the industry’s leading experts.

  2. Just as exhibitors are anxious to show off their new products, attendees are anxious to see what’s new.

  3. Exhibitors are thirsting for knowledge, and so are attendees. They want to gain industry insights and stay current on trade show trends, also.

So whether you’re exhibiting or attending, it appears as if trade shows still hold value for you. It’s a good thing too, because they’re going to stick around for a while! Here’s a list of the Trade show News Network’s (TSNN) 2013 top 50 fastest-growing trade shows.

To Recap:

1.      Exhibitors find value in trade shows through networking, education, strengthening their brand presence, and obtaining qualified leads.

2.      Attendees find value in trade shows through networking, satisfying their curiosity and education.

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