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Best in Show Tap the right resources to build a blue-ribbon trade-show booth.

By Steve Cooper

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Trade shows can be an important growth tool for both establishedand burgeoning businesses. These events offer a unique opportunityfor you to meet potential customers face to face in a singlelocation, launch new products and services, establish a presence inthe marketplace, meet with suppliers and distributors, generatesales leads, and much more.

Ticket to Show
Some trade shows cater to very specific audiences, while others hitmuch larger markets. Before your first show, it's important toresearch different trade shows to find the ones that fit yourbusiness. Some places to start:

  • Center for Exhibition Industry Research. FormerlyThe Trade Show Bureau, CEIR uses data to highlight the importanceof trade shows. If you're looking for reasons to put a boothtogether, this is where you'll find the stats.
  • This online trade-show directorylists everything from obscure shows to headline-grabbers, and is agreat way to find out what's coming to your area and what'soffered in your industry. An online subscription is $685 forunlimited access.
  • Trade Show Exhibitors Association. Where do peoplewho put on trade shows meet? At a trade show, of course, and TSEAsponsors the leading conference about conferencing. As a voice ofthe industry, TSEA offers great resources, from publications toresearch contacts.
  • Trade Show Week. While this magazine isgeared more toward trade-show organizers, it grants you anopportunity to peek behind the curtain to see what's next. Thewebsite also hosts a free trade-show directory.

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