The Benefits and Risks of Attending Business Trade Fairs

Whether you’re attending a business trade fair or indeed taking an active part with your own stand, there are both benefits and risks involved

As such, you should be aware of these before you decide whether or not to attend to ensure you’re making the best decision for your business.


This is where the latest guide page from TNT can help, we’ve used our experience in the business world to put together the pros and cons of such events to help inform your decision making.


What are Business Trade Fairs?

To start with the basics if you’re a newer or smaller business who has yet to get involved in trade fairs, in short these are shows often held in large conference centres where businesses can set up stalls to showcase what they have to offer. These can be held on a smaller local or national scale, as well as on a much larger international scale. One of the biggest for example is Hannover Messe, which has a huge indoor and outdoor floor area covering over five million square feet.


Primarily though, it’s a chance for companies to meet new clients and in turn get more business. It’s also a chance to network and make connections with other firms and form partnerships that might be useful for the future.


The Benefits of Attending

If you feel you would want to attend or have a stall at a trade fair, you then could make the most of the following:

As alluded to above, you can show off exactly what your business has to offer and this could turn a few heads of potential new customers for you. In other words, you increase your opportunity for sales.


  • Also as aforementioned, there will be many other businesses both in the sector you are involved with and outside of it. It’s a great opportunity to learn about different markets and also speak to industry experts about how you can improve your set up, or to learn some tips and tricks.
  • To build on this last point, you can find out some honest opinions from both patrons and professionals about the product or service that you are offering.
  • There’s every chance you may encounter some of your rivals during your meetings and exploration of the trade fair; this means you can learn a lot about what they are offering customers.

The Risks of Attending

There are the following risks to think about though by attending or having a stall at a trade fair:


  • A trade show can be expensive to attend and will need at the very least one day’s worth of time per employee you send; so you need to ask yourself if this is something you can afford.
  • There’s also no guarantee you’ll turn a profit in the end; the worst case scenario is that you’ll not make any further sales at all.
  • Much like how you’ll learn a lot about your rivals, they will also learn more about your product or service offering.
  • You may have to pay a premium to get the bigger and better spots at certain trade fairs.


Other Considerations

On top of these potential risks and benefits, you should also think about the following before making any bookings:


  • Whether or not the trade fair is going to be something relevant to your sector.
  • Which members of staff should go and should be involved; a mix of experience is wise as it allows your staff to learn but also lead.
  • How close the trade fair is to your location so it doesn’t become an expense that isn’t worthwhile.


That your stall or exhibition effectively shows off what your company can provide and that the staff running this are capable of generating interest.


So, take this useful advice on board and ensure you make the right call for your business. If you weigh this up properly, the reality is you will be benefitting your company whatever choice you end up making.

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