You've just been put in charge of planning the company's trade show activities for the year and you have no idea where to begin. Maybe you've attended a trade show before so you have an idea of what they are, but planning and managing the process is a whole other animal. Trade shows are one of the best ways to get in front of your customers and prospects, but how do you decide which shows are best? How do you budget for them, how do you decide what kind of display you need, and how do you make sure you get back more than you put into it?

Photo courtesy Newstream
SUPERCOMM 2003 floor shot

In this article, we'll take a look at why trade shows are so effective, how to select the best shows, and how to manage the process from start to finish. We'll also provide tips, checklists and web links that will make the job a heck of a lot easier for you. Let's start with why it makes sense to attend trade shows.