If you’re considering exhibiting at, or attending, a trade show you might be asking yourself what is there to do? Well, Quadrant2Design has your answer.

A trade show is an event where businesses exhibit their products and services to others in the same, or a similar, industry.  They are held throughout the country and attended by retail customers as well as professionals and business people hoping to source products, exchange ideas, build connections and gather information.

Trade shows include a whole variety of activities to keep you busy, often across a number of days. So, what is there to do at a trade show?

1. Visit the stands

There will be a huge number of stands to visit at a show, each offering a variety of products and services for you to sample. Most companies within the industry will be represented, so if you are looking for a particular product there will be plenty of options to choose from.  For instance, at CHSI Stitches, the UK’s biggest craft fair, there are over 200 exhibitors showcasing over 100,000 products.  That should be enough to keep you busy!

Many businesses will use a trade show to launch new products or services, so it will give you the chance to see new innovations before they are released to the general public.

Some exhibitors will offer exclusive discounts at the show which could save you money.  You can gain valuable information and expertise by talking to experts on each stand, as exhibitors will typically be happy to share their industry expertise with any visitors to their trade show stand.


Modular Exhibition Stand

2. See the latest trends in the industry

Many companies will feature their latest products and innovations as part of their exhibit, so this will give you a fantastic insight into the direction that the industry is moving.

If you are involved in the industry, you’ll have a unique opportunity to see and learn from what your competitors are doing.  As you see for yourself which of their products draw the crowds, it may give you inspiration for your own business.

If you’re a customer, a trade show provides a unique opportunity to see all of your supplier options in one place, without having to do any tiresome shopping around.

3. Listen to speakers

There will be well-known keynote speakers and presentations given by influential professionals within the industry.  These are held in separate rooms at the venue and often require you to register beforehand, as space will be limited.

Make sure to get a show catalogue, as this will include a timetable of everything there is to do at the show. Depending on the industry, some events feature talks given by celebrities; for instance, The Ideal Home Show, held at Olympia in March 2022, had Alan Titchmarsh, Lisa Snowdon, John Torode and Richard Arnold giving presentations.

4. Attend workshops/networking sessions

One thing you’ll often be able to do at a trade show is workshops on key industry techniques and skills. These workshops will allow you to get hands-on with the industry and possibly even acquire some new skills.  The popular Cake and Bake Show previously featured doughnut-making sessions and a build-your-own cheesecake workshop.

There will also often be networking sessions, which are generally free to attend and provide a great opportunity to meet with other professionals in the industry and share information and expertise.  The 5G World trade show includes several networking sessions within its programme of speakers.

5. Watch product demonstrations

Product demonstrations are a common activity at trade shows and will occur on individual stands as well as in break-out rooms.  Many companies will be showcasing their products in an attempt to draw in the crowds and many trade shows also feature demonstrations as a part of their trade show activities programme.  For instance, at the Food and Drink Expo you can watch celebrity chefs cooking up a storm, while Imbibe Live features drink tastings.

Most organisers go all-out on arranging things to do at their exhibitions, as they want to draw in new visitors each year and get people talking about the show before, during and after it’s over. At Makers Central, stars from TV’s Robot Wars performed with robots in a central arena three times a day for visitors, with opportunities to meet the robots and their makers, while the National Wedding Show features catwalk displays of the latest bridal gowns for visitors to watch.

A perfect example of the vast variety of things to do at a trade show or exhibition.

6. Arrange to meet others in the industry

A trade show is the perfect opportunity to arrange to meet with other professionals in the same industry who are also attending the event.  It is a unique occasion where professionals in the industry are all in one place, so why not meet up?  It’s a great way to maintain and strengthen relationships with customers or suppliers and you never know where the next deal might come from!

Trade shows have restaurant and café areas where you can sit down, plus there will typically also be a variety of restaurants around the venue.

7. Sample products and collect freebies

We all love the free mouse mats, coffee cups and memory sticks given out at these events, but they’re not the only trade show freebies you’ll be offered.

Companies are looking to get their name in front of you, so many will be offering free promotional items hoping you’ll become a new loyal customer once the event is over. It’s highly likely you’ll be offered free or discounted samples of innovative new products which, outside of the event, you might have to pay a significant fee for.

So as it turns out, there are quite a lot of things to do at a trade show, and these are just a few of them. As the place where an industry gathers, there is generally a lot going on at a trade show, with plenty of reasons to attend.  Remember to book tickets in advance as spaces may be limited and you don’t want to miss out!

If your business is looking to exhibit, Quadrant2Design can design and build you a fantastic custom modular exhibition display that will make sure you really stand out from the crowd! Contact us today on 01202 723 500 or email design@quadrant2design.com.