Trade shows and exhibitions

Choose the right trade fair


Finding the right trade fair is essential. If the area of interest it covers is too specialist or too broad, it is unlikely to attract visitors who want to buy what you have to sell. Not all events will attract large numbers of delegates. Do you research and find out how popular an exhibition has been in previous years. Plan and set specific goals about what you want to achieve at the trade fair. Doing this will help you evaluate the success of your attendance to decide whether it is worth going back to next year.

If you are exhibiting

Start by making a profile of the customers you want to reach. Identify their special interests and where they are located. Then take a look at the most likely trade fairs for your industry sector and try to match them with these customers. See understand your customers' needs.

Most established exhibitions will be able to provide a detailed breakdown of the number and type of visitors from previous years. This will give you a good idea of whether the types of customers you are targeting are likely to be there.

Attending as a delegate

Work out what you want to achieve before you go. What kinds of product or service do you want to find out about? Who do you want to meet? Match your requirements against what the most likely trade fairs have to offer. You should be able to get a list of the companies planning to exhibit before you attend. This will help you avoid a wasted journey.

Identify the right trade fair 

You can also contact specific venues, ask a relevant trade association or contact your local Chamber of Commerce to find out what's on in your area.

Before booking, find out more about the characteristics of any fairs that look promising. You should consider:

  • the delegates
  • delegate spending power
  • the other exhibitors
  • any data from past events

The organisers of a good trade fair should be able to supply this kind of information.

Search for business events in Northern Ireland on the Events Finder.