Is Exhibiting in a show worth it?

The Center for Exhibition industry research compiles some pretty impressive statistics that convince me that exhibiting in trade and consumer shows is one of the most cost effective ways to market your business.  After reading their findings below I am sure you’ll agree.

And if you don’t agree, let me know why.  Maybe I can analyze why your experience did not produce results.




There are 10,000 tradeshows and 3000 consumer shows a year

Attended by 100 million people who spend 120 billion dollars


Who attends tradeshows?


36% are first time attendees

78% have buying influence

38% are the final decision makers

81% are looking for new products and services

79% have not been contacted by your company in the last 12 months


What do they do at the show?

76% arrive with an agenda

83% buy something

43% Will buy something within 12 months

77% Will select a new supplier or vendo

94% will compare competing products

66%  come to network

87% will share what they learned with 4-6 other people



2 Responses to “Is Exhibiting in a show worth it?”

  1. 1 Eileen November 17, 2007 at 9:23 pm

    Great advice Susan… and thanks for posting that PDF with all the tips. I hope that the word gets out about this blog, because it will help so many businesspeople really make the most of their tradeshow exposure on so many levels. I’d love for you to share some of the bloopers and blunders you’ve witnessed throughout out your years of experience in this field… and maybe some of the greatest stuff you’ve seen. Thanks!

  2. 2 susanratliff November 18, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Thanks for your comments Eileen. I certainly have seen it all on the show floor. One of the most common Booth Blunders is not greeting people that stop by your booth. It really bugs me when I enter an exhibit area to find the staff sitting down and talking on their cell phone. I am further insulted when they make no effort to acknowledge me. It is fine to stay in touch with your office, but when a valuable prospect enters the booth, at least give a smile and a wave and get off the call quickly. I will never forget the time I went over to the exhibit of a well known Bank. Four men in suits stood across the width of the 10′ wide space. Their name badges listed their titles as President, Vice President and Manager. I waited for a hello that never came. They were in deep converstation and not one of them acknowledged me with eye contact. Two of them actually stepped back to finish their conversation. I was stunned. I quicky left the booth. That experience really bothered me so I stood back and watched several other attendees pass by the booth. Same thing. No hello, no smile, no conversation. That experience bothered me so much that I actually called the Bank President the next day and told him the story. He was shocked and ended the conversation quickly. He later called back to thank me for telling him and had called a meeting of his staff to make sure that never happens again. The rule is, stop what you are doing when a prospect walks by and greet them in some fashion. That Bank was also guilty of another blunder. Too many people in the booth. Four guys in a 10 x10 booth is overkill. Two people max in any 10′ space is the rule.
    Those are a few common blunders. I will think about some others and also some of the greatest stuff I’ve seen.

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