How to find the best trade show for your business

When it comes to growing your product based business, trade shows are an awesome way to get your brand in front of a large group of qualified customers. With thousands of dollars on the line though you’re going to want to pick the show that gives you maximum impact. So, how do you go about finding the best trade show for your biz?


Start by Determining your WHY

Why is exhibiting at a tradeshow important to your business? Are you looking to get in front of sales reps, land a national retail chain or do you simply want to sell more? You need to know your why because it will help to determine which show would make the most sense. If landing a national retail chain is top of your list you probably want to focus on the larger shows in big cities (like New York, LA, Las Vegas) because buyers from across the country will be attending. If developing a local presence tops your list you may find the smaller shows in your area to be more beneficial.

Google that ish

Simply start by searching your industry (say, “stationery”) + “trade show” Yes, you’ll get thousands of results but the cream tends to rise to the top so the more popular options will most likely be found on the first few pages. Don’t just limit your search to trade shows, try incorporating other keywords such as conference or association. You can also add your location to your search to zero in on the shows in your home state or city closest to you. Once you find a few shows that look like they could be winners look for the page on their website that lists exhibitors from the most recent show and see who exhibited. Are there any familiar names? Do these company’s mirror your target market? You may have to dig a little deeper and search these company names on social media. It’s time intensive but so worth it because exhibiting at a show can cost you thousands, so you want to find the show that’s best for you.

Utilize Trade Show Specific databases

Websites like Trade Show News Network and 10 Times allow you to search for industry specific shows and conferences.

Ask your buyers

Your buyers have probably been to quite a few shows and have some favorites. Ask around and see which they attend to get the names of shows that would compliment your business. Because they have so much experience working with different businesses at these shows they are a wealth of info!

Scope out the Competition

Search your competitor's social media profiles and see if they’ve attended any shows. Find relevant show hashtags and seek those out too! Even searching #tradeshow on Instagram will yield tons of results.

Ask around in Facebook Groups

Don’t be afraid to pick the brain of fellow small business owners. While some will not share what they’ve learned you’ll be surprised by how many are open to sharing their experiences! (and if you’re looking for a Facebook group specific to product based businesses you should check this out)

Once you’ve narrowed down your options you’re going to want to see firsthand what that show is all about by attending BEFORE deciding to exhibit. Take your list and pick the top one or two shows you’re interested in and walk them. Yes, this costs money but it’s totally worth a few hundred dollars if you could save thousands. Plus, you’ll walk away feeling totally inspired and excited!  

Need some extra assistance in finding the best trade show for your business? I’ve rounded up a list of resources and popular shows for you below!

Favorite Resources:


Trade Show News Network

Events in America

Popular Shows:

Accessorie Circuit for

  • Women's accessories

  • Women's footwear

  • Jewelry

  • Handbags

  • Scarves

  • Gifts

Accessories the Show for

  • Men's accessories

  • Women's accessories

  • Jewelry

  • Handbags

  • footwear

Americas Mart Atlanta (Atlanta Gift Market) for

  • Gift + Home

  • Apparel

ASD Las Vegas for

  • Gift & Home

  • Fashion Accessories

  • Jewelry

  • Health & Beauty

Coterie For

  • Women's Apparel

  • Women's accessories

  • Women's footwear

Dallas Market Center for

  • Apparel + Accessories

  • Home + Gift

  • Kids

ECRM for everything from pet to health + beauty

High Point Market for

  • Home Furnishings

  • Textiles

Intermezzo Collection for

  • Women's ready to wear

  • Women's active wear

  • Women's denim

LA Mart for

  • Gift + Home

  • Furniture

Moda for

  • Women's Apparel

National Stationery Show for

  • Stationery

  • Gifts

  • Home office

NY Now for

  • Gifts + Home

  • Stationery

  • Accessories

  • Personal Care + Bath & Body

Pool Trade Show for

  • women’s apparel

  • Women's accessories

  • home goods

  • Stationery

  • Apothecary

Project for

  • Mens apparel

  • Mens accessories

Seattle Mart for

  • Gifts + Home

  • Stationery

  • Personal Care + Bath & Body

  • Jewelry + Accessories

StyleMax for

  • Accessories

  • Gift

  • Personal Care

  • Handmade

  • apparel

WWD Magic for

  • Women's apparel

  • Women's accessories