About Trade Shows
A well-organized trade show can be an exciting event indeed. It’s a chance for the movers and shakers of an industry to come together, and for businesses to showcase their products and services to their target audience.
But good trade shows don’t just happen; they require careful planning and coordination to ensure that they’re well supported and successful. And while the list of factors to consider when planning a trade fair is extensive, they don’t come any more important than choosing the right venue.
Once you find the perfect space for your trade show, you’ve already taken the first step towards making your show a must-attend event for the major players in your industry.
The Best Trade Show Venues
Trade shows come in many different shapes and sizes, and so too, do trade show venues. The type of industry, the number of people you expect to attend, and the type of experience you want to create can all have an impact on the best trade show space for your needs. Here are a few popular options you might like to consider.
- Convention Centers
Convention and exhibition centers are often the first places that spring to mind when choosing trade show venues. They’re purpose-built for those big industry get-togethers, which means they’ve got enough space, all the essential facilities, and a layout that’s flexible enough to be set up just the way you like it.
- Outdoor Spaces
Trade expos certainly don’t have to be indoor affairs. And if you’re showcasing businesses and services that belong in the great outdoors, it makes sense to take your event outside. The good news is that the range of outdoor spaces is huge, and can include everything from patios and courtyards to sports stadiums, race courses, parks, and many more.
Many major hotels have all the facilities you need to host your next trade show. From function rooms and ballrooms to conference rooms and grand banquet halls, you’ll find a variety of spaces that can be tailored to suit your needs.
What to Look for in Trade Show Spaces
Where should you hold your trade show? This is a question that isn’t always easy to answer. But once you have a concise idea of your target audience and the sort of experience you want to offer to exhibitors and guests, you’ll have a much clearer picture of the trade show space that’ll be your perfect match.
Where is the best location for your trade show? To answer that, you’ll need detailed information about your target audience and where they’re located. You wouldn’t hold a boat show in the middle of the desert, for example, and you wouldn’t hold a farming and agriculture expo in the heart of a big city. Do your research to make sure the venue you choose will help you reach as large a portion of your target market as possible.
- Ease of Access
Ease of access is important for a couple of reasons. First, you need to make it simple for exhibitors and attendees to get to. Is it easily accessible from the airport? Are there accommodation options nearby? Is it well served by public transport and what is traffic like in the area? Second, you’ll need to consider how easy it will be for exhibitors to bring in all the equipment and merchandise they need to set up their booths. The simpler it is, the more vendors will want to attend.
Space isn’t the final frontier for event organizers — in fact, it’s one of the first factors to consider when choosing a trade show location. Any venue you choose will obviously need to have enough space for all your exhibitors to showcase their wares, plus the right layout to ensure a smooth flow of guests around the floor. At the same time, make sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach, as choosing a trade show space that’s far too large can ruin the atmosphere of your event.
- Facilities and Amenities
Now that you’ve got a shortlist of a few venues, start considering the practicalities of each candidate. For example, you may want to check if there is ample parking available on-site. How many toilets are there and where are they located? Is the trade show location easily accessible for people with mobility concerns? Verify if vendors have access to sufficient power sockets and if there is Wi-Fi. Put together a checklist of must-haves and keep it close at hand when comparing trade show spaces.
- Professional Staff
Finally, running an expo will be a whole lot easier if you have professional venue staff on your side. So right from the first moment you contact a venue host, pay careful attention to their knowledge and experience, how helpful and responsive they are, and how willing they are to work together to create the event you want. The right people can make a world of difference.
Trade Show Inspiration
Looking for some inspo for your next trade show? Here are just a few unique options worth considering.
- Beautiful Ballrooms
Need to create an atmosphere of elegance and sophistication? An opulent ballroom can be transformed into the ideal venue for an expo with a difference. The grand arches and timber floors of this extravagant ballroom could be a perfect fit for your show.
- Open-air Courtyards
A spacious outdoor courtyard lets your vendors show off their products in the surroundings for which they’re designed. Expect fresh air, sunshine, and plenty of space, along with undercover areas in case the weather turns nasty.
- Rooftop Bars
There’s something exclusive and intimate about a rooftop bar that makes it the perfect fit for certain industries. Book out the entire space to create a private venue where vendors and guests can mingle, share information, and make new connections.
- Convention Center Exhibition Spaces
If you’re hosting a big trade show, it’s hard to beat the practicality of a convention center. There you’ll find exhibition halls with flexible layouts, easy access, and all the facilities you need to set up the space just the way you want.