Trends in Trade Show Marketing Spend on B2B Exhibitions

September 20, 2012

CEIR had conducted a study on the trends in trade show marketing.  They determined that the medium spend on a trade show event was about $17k in 2011.  Based on this cost they then looked at a variety of factors of why a company would participate in a trade show  – one of which was the top ranked important objective for having a trade show booth at an event.  Here is my take on those objectives:

rental booth#1: To reach and identify new customers/sales leads

This is the key to any business – to grow! You need to constantly identify new customers and generate new leads – it just a matter of how you want to do that in your business.  Our company works with a variety of industries – all walks of life.  We have the gamut of manufacturing (huge concrete rolls) all the way to a client that makes surgical instruments.  The one thing that they all have in common is that they grow their business effectively through trade show events – and by collecting and nurturing leads from these events.  They use the trade show as a tool to get their name out there in front of new people in the industry.  Since things are constantly changing and new people are purchasing, you always have to keep in front of them and a trade show event is a great venue for this.

#2:  To build product/company awareness

I have a client that had several products – one being their bread and butter (80% of the business) but they also had three other “not as well known” products.  They use a trade show event to help promote the underdogs since everyone knew about their primarily product.  In addition, you can use a trade show event to promote your company overall – maybe you want to hire more people, maybe you want to be purchase, there are a ton of reasons to promote awareness of your company and what you can do.

#3:  Need to be there – have presence

I do not agree with this one.  If you NEED to be there – there is a problem.  There has to be more to it than that – otherwise your budget and return on investment cannot be truly be justified.  There is no way to put some numbers around this one and frankly if you just need to be there then you are probably not putting in the effort you need to – to be effective.

#4: Launch and promote new products and/or services

This goes without saying.  If you have something new that you want to introduce to a specific target market, a trade show event is by far your best return on your money.  You have a captive audience and you know what their demographics are – they are in your industry and they are there for a reason.  The thing that you need to do is to communicate your message effectively so that your audience see’s your message and is compelled to stop by your booth for more information.  Too many times our exhibitors build it and THINK that they will come – it requires a bit more work than that.

So – why do YOU exhibit at trade show events?  At $17k a gig - is it worth it?  I would like to know!

More information about CEIR and their reports can be found on their website –



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