Participating in trade fairs

Objectives of participating in trade fairs

► Attract new markets/clients to the company
► Promote first-hand contact with clients
► Measure the success of a product launch
► Increase the company’s visibility
► Learn about trends in the sector
► Analyse the competition
► Meet clients and potential clients


Preparation of trade fairs should begin several months before they actually take place.

After the objectives, budget and participation organiser have been defined, various activities must be prepared in order to meet the initial aims.

Defining the space/area

• Choosing the space
• Area of the stand
• Location within the pavilions (together with the organisers)

Choosing the type of stand

• Organiser’s standard-type stand
• Own stand
• Stand design and construction company
• Concern for the image intended

Other services

• Furniture
• Cleaning and safety of stands
• Secretariat
• Technical services (e.g. electrician)
• Accommodation

Client passes

• Current clients – telemarketing to book meetings during the fair. Sending brochure with news and pass for the fair.
• Potential clients – mailing information about attendance at the fair, which may include the location, a pass to the fair and a brochure with some of the products that will be exhibited.

Choosing what products to exhibit

• Defining strategic products
• Presenting new launches


• Price list – in various currencies, if necessary
• Institutional brochures for the company
• Catalogue with products/tables with products’ technical specifications

Public Relations

• Announce attendance and launch of new products
• Press passes
• Prepare a press release to distribute to reporters or deliver to the fair’s press office


The stand

• Type of product display
• Well maintained appearance / cleanliness of the space
• Creating various areas
• The design of the stand should contemplate the creation of several spaces: product display area, meeting area, storage area and eating area


The customer service/sales team should have full working knowledge of the product, good interpersonal skills and fluency in several languages. They should be able to indicate prices, discount policies and conditions of payment.

All contacts should be recorded, with notes of the elements that characterise/reveal the client’s preferences.

Launching products

The exhibitor should invite clients, potential clients and the press to view new products, highlighting the product’s unique selling points.
Plan of actions: define what type of presentation (for example, with catering), send invitations, confirm presences, welcome guests, etc.

What type of publicity

The organisers provide various means for exhibitors to attract the attention of visitors during their presence at the fair, for example, visitor’s guide, handing out flyers, mupis, etc.

Analysing the competition

• Visiting the stands of other companies/countries
• Analysing the type of products/ type of display/type of visitor. 

Subsequently, following up contacts made during the fair is extremely important to consolidate business ventures developed.

Current clients

• Sending a summary of the meeting held during the fair
• Sending requested information/samples

Potential clients

• Sending a thank-you letter to everyone met
• Sending proposals of price/sample


Sending a thank-you letter, documentation and product photos

Assessing the outcomes of the fair

Identifying costs of attending (costs for the stand, space, travel, accommodation, meals, image/communication) and assessing the returns of the investment, via deals closed, ongoing business, number of visitors at the stand and the fair.