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Welcome to our bitesize guide about how to book trade shows! We promise that you’ll know everything about stage one of the exhibition planning process in under three minutes.

Each week we will be covering a different stage of trade show planning. In this article, you’ll learn how to book trade shows to attend an exhibition. You will only have to follow these steps:

Research Exhibitions
Set your Budget
Book your Floor Space
Next week we’ll cover everything you need to know about exhibition stands, including how to choose your contractor and the design process. If you can’t wait that long then click here to download your free planning tool and get a head start.


No one needs to be told how to conduct research. Just make sure you don’t underestimate the importance of this step.

Booking the wrong exhibition will cost your business a lot of money. You need to spend a few hours looking at the industry-specific events that are relevant to your product offering. Here’s some advice about how to book trade shows: it’s not always obvious.

In order to attend an exhibition or the right trade show for your business, you need to work out what your exhibition goals are.  Do you want to gather as many qualified leads as possible?  If so booking a larger event will be the most appropriate.  If, however, your aim is to position your business within your industry and network with others, booking a smaller, more niche event will be the most suitable.  Research the events that your competitors go to, if they have booked a specific trade show, maybe you should too.

Trade show marketing is no different to print, radio, TV or digital strategies – you have to know your audience. The exhibition organiser will be able to provide you with information on the audience a trade show attracts.  If you’ve got enough time, visit the trade show that you want to book and observe how the visitors interact with the exhibitors. Are they buying products or gathering information for later? Why is one exhibition stand busier than the other? Where are high-traffic booths located? What are your competitors doing?

Finding out this information is key to booking a successful event. If you can’t attend for any reason, ask people that have exhibited there before and find out what you can online. There are free tools that give detailed reviews and information on exhibitions across Europe. Failure to plan is planning to fail – do not skip this step.


Why isn’t this the first step? Because typically first-time exhibitors don’t understand the costs involved until they have researched exhibiting. Once you’ve chosen the right trade show to book, you can start working out costs and budgets.

Your budget breakdown should look like this:

Floor Space – 25%

Exhibition Stand – 50%

Staff – 7%

Promotion – 6%

Electricity – 2%

Furniture – 2%

TV Rental – 2%

As soon as you’ve chosen which trade show to book you should set your budget. This helps you avoid the most common exhibiting mistake which is spending too much of your budget on your space. You can have the biggest space in the hall but it’s not going to increase your ROI unless you have an eye-catching stand to draw in crowds.

Setting your budget early to attend an exhibition helps you to avoid these mistakes. Trust us, you’re better off with a smaller space that is within your budget, and a killer custom modular exhibition stand.


This is the easiest step in stage one. By now you’ve researched the events you’d like to book and you’re confident in your decision. You’ve set your budget and you know how much you have to spend on your floor space.

All that’s left to do is fill out a form.

Well, almost. Visit the trade show’s website and register your interest in booking the event. A member of their team will then get back to you and work out the details such as size, orientation and shell scheme or space only. If you’re not sure about this yet then we’ve got this guide to help you out.

And then you’re done.

Stage one of booking your exhibition is complete – and look at that, in under three minutes.

Now that you know how to book your space at an exhibition, you’re ready to start looking into your exhibition stand. Do you remember what we said about budgets? Half of it should be used on an eye-catching stand, so you don’t want to skip any steps.

To get a head start, download your free exhibition planning tool and get underway right now.

For help with booking your next event call one of our team on 01202 723 500 or email

exhibition stand for the Bank of England. Designed and created by Quadrant2Design