MEET helps international B2B companies gain traction and scale in the U.S. through trade shows, events, and strategic connections
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5 Steps to Achieving Your Best Trade Show Selection Process

October 6, 2018

Trade Show Selection Process

At MEET, we’ve identified five simple steps to help organizations achieve their best trade show selection process. You might ask, “How do you define best?” Our answer is it’s personal. Just as any good workout instructor will tell you, optimizing your results from an exercise routine requires a deep understanding of where your body is at and what you hope to accomplish.

Achieving your best trade show selection process similarly requires that you consider the unique position of your organization.  At MEET, we start by looking at maturity. For companies that are ready for the national market, we embark on a series of steps to explore national and global events. For earlier stage companies, we recommend a strategy that is more focused on local or regional opportunities.

The Value of Local and Regional Events for Early-stage Companies

One of the main reasons we recommend local or regional events for early-stage companies has to do frequency. Local and regional events typically occur more often and are more intimate than national or global events that take place annually. Whether these events are weekly, monthly or quarterly, their frequency offers three advantages for young companies or those entering new markets.

Trade Show Selection Process

  1. Allow for testing of different targets, value propositions, and offer hypotheses at every interaction.
  2. Offer training opportunities in how to represent and sell a product in these settings.
  3. Foster a community of advocates that can be leveraged in the future at larger, more resource-intensive events.

Either way, local and regional events are a great opportunity to roll up your sleeves, get feedback and build relationships.

5 Steps to Achieving Your Best Trade Show Selection Process

Here are the steps we recommend to determining your (personal) best trade show selection process.

Step 1: Focus

Utilize your buyer persona(s) to determine precisely whom you are aiming to target at these events. (Check out our webinar Everyone is Not a Prospect: How to Focus and Win at Trade Shows for more on how to do this.)

Step 2: Search

Research, using Google or your preferred search engine, which events will connect you with these buyer personas. Additionally, tap into your networks—those targeting the same buyers, as well as competitors and partners, to find out which events they plan on attending.

Step 3: Score

Develop a scoring matrix to help you assess the value of each event opportunity. Sample data points may include the quality of the audience based on the density of prospects per attendee. You’ll want to evaluate the importance of each criteria based on where your company is at, i.e. your personal growth goals. At MEET, we’ve developed an intricate scoring tool for our clients to determine their best trade show opportunities. Contact us for a sample or more information.

Step 4: Decide

Overlay your findings from the scoring matrix with assumptions and the experience of your team members to see which events rise to the surface. Develop an initial plan of action.

Step 5: Refresh

Review your plan quarterly and refresh it with market data and event results. Tweak for optimization. Your plan should be dynamic and evolve continuously as you hone your message and collect more valuable data.

The best trade show selection process is one that reflects your personal goals—where you are today and where you are aiming to be tomorrow. The results will look different for everyone; these steps will get you there.


MEET ( helps B2B growth companies and pavilion hosts effectively leverage at trade shows and in-person events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney at MEET today for a free trade show participation assessment or +1 (860) 573-4821.