Trade Shows vs Tradesnest

Trade Shows vs Tradesnest

If you are a consumer electronics brand looking to increase your sales and expand in new markets, you may be considering exhibiting at trade shows. Attending trade shows is an effective way to reach out to hundreds of international distributors and retailers in one place in a short period of time. But what’s the difference between trade shows and Tradesnest?

Tradesnest provides a more cost-effective alternative to trade shows for putting you in touch with the right people. Both trade shows and Tradesnest’s platform can help you find distributors and retailers for your product and help your business expand. But each company is different and has different needs. So the question is which one will work best for your business? 

If you are currently looking to expand your business into new markets and get your products on retailers’ shelves, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

It can be hard to make a decision, so in this article, we’ll explore the differences between Tradesnest and trade shows. Also, we will highlight some of the most significant benefits they can bring to your business. In the end, you will be able to make a decision on which solution is best suited for your business and can maximise your international success.

What is a Trade Show?

crowd in a trade show

A trade show is an event where companies exhibit together and demonstrate their newest products and/or services to trade show attendants and other business people within their industry.

Trade shows are typically not open to the general public. They are mainly addressed to people from the industry including members of the press, top professionals, and company representatives. 

In this way, both exhibitors and attendees can benefit from them. On the one hand, Trade shows’ attendees have access to the latest innovations, technological developments, and valuable insights. On the other hand, exhibitors can showcase their latest products or services, meet new customers, gain leads, build relationships, and increase their brand awareness.

Check some of the trade shows we have participated in here.

Types of Trade Shows

There are several types of trade shows and that’s why there isn’t one fit for all. Usually, trade shows categories are divided based on industry. The four major categories are:

  1. Consumer Electronics Trade Shows
  2. Electronic Components Industry Trade Shows
  3. Category Specific Trade Shows (i.g. mobile accessories)
  4. Industrial Trade Shows

Consumer Electronics Show

One of the biggest retail electronics trade shows is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the US. CES usually takes place in Las Vegas in January every year where tech companies from all over the world present their products and services. For example, at CES you can see cutting-edge technologies in smart devices, video gaming, mobility, self-driving vehicles, mobile accessories and many more.

Consumer Technology Association (CES) logo


IFA Berlin is Europe’s largest consumer electronics trade show in Europe. Every year it is attracting the best distributors and retailers in the Consumer Electronics industry.

Electronic Components Industry Trade Shows

electronic components

Expo Electrica International

Another big electronic components trade show is the Expo Electrica International in Mexico. It is a great networking occasion where every year more than 37,000 professionals from the Electrical Industry attend and making it a great opportunity in the field of electrical material and equipment.

Category Specific Trade Shows (i.g. mobile accessories)

Mobile world capital Barcelona, MWC Barcelona

Mobile World Congress (MWC)

MWC is the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry where over 20000 visitors from 150 countries attend each year. 

Industrial Trade Shows 

Robot in a trade show for industrial transformation

Hannover Messe

Hannover Messe is an international trade show for industrial transformation with many innovations and unique products.

Key Benefits of Trade Shows

MWC trade show, people walking around the trade show booths

While both trade shows and Tradesnest’s platform can help you to showcase and promote your products, they offer different benefits for your business. Here are four key benefits of attending trade shows:

1. Meet with Potential Customers

Trade shows can give your business a unique opportunity to meet with your potential and current customers face-to-face which allows you to:

  • Receive buyers’ feedback directly
  • Demonstrate your product and how it works
  • Ask important questions to buyers and distributors directly

In short, you get the chance to talk with potential or existing customers during these events. In this way, you can better understand their successes, challenges and issues with your products and services.

2. Build Business Relationships

These types of events are all about networking. At a trade show, you have the opportunity to meet in person with potential clients- which is way more effective compared to cold calls or cold emails. On top of that, trade shows have several social events; such as lunch breaks, presentations, gatherings, etc. This is a great way to meet with people from your industry in a more relaxing setting and potentially exchange contact information.

3. Increase your brand awareness

Attending a trade show can help you promote your brand, which is one of the most important advantages. At a trade show, your company can have a dedicated booth or exhibition area to showcase your products.

This area will serve as a visual representation of your brand, along with your team members.

As a result, trade show attendees will discover and engage with your brand. So it is important to make a good impression that will raise awareness and recognition of your company.

4. Analyse the competition

To understand how to position your product well in the market, it is critical to monitor your competitors, and trade shows are a great place to do so.

You can see what their latest innovations are, how they interact with customers and how they market their brand. So, you can simply go for a walk around the show and observe what other companies do to attract customers. 

For example, you can check their banners, messaging, how they place their products on their booth, and how they interact with potential clients. Try to learn as much as possible from your competitors and focus on the booths that are attracting the most attention- you want to learn from the best. Nevertheless, it is also important to check what less attractive booths are doing. Perhaps, there is a common denominator for those who get a lot of traction and those who don’t. 

Measuring Success at Trade Shows

Most businesses fail to set objectives from trade shows and subsequently, this drastically reduces their return on investment (ROI). As a result, when a business does not apply any form of measurement after these shows, there is no way to understand the extent to which they benefit from it.

In fact, recent studies showed that 76% of exhibitors have no specific objective when attending trade shows and 80% of these businesses do not conduct target-market research prior to a show. Even though it is essential for exhibitors to research the attendees, it seems that most businesses fail to realise the importance of this research.

It can take several months to prepare for a trade show and whether this relates to the number of leads gathered or gaining traction with certain companies, these objectives need to be known a long time in advance. 

The amount of resources required to attend a trade show is significant, in terms of time spent on the preparation of the marketing material, getting your demo ready, training your staff, choosing the right location for your booth at the event, designing the booth itself, etc. Additionally, you should consider that usually large sums have to be invested for travelling, hotels and restaurants and therefore clear targets must be defined. 

The Costs and Risks of International Trade Shows

International trade shows are an incredibly expensive affair, with costs for displays, branding, logistics, flights, transport, hotels, and staffing all adding up quickly. The average cost of attending an international trade show in places like the United States, Germany, China, France, and Dubai is $35,000. 

The most important part of exhibiting comes after the event since businesses will follow up with the leads. Not everybody you will meet there is who they claim to be. Doing a good and thorough check on the potential buyer is a must. If the follow-up and verification of the buyer are not done well, it can cost the brand a significant loss of time or potentially enter into a bad partnership. 

For large corporations, in many cases, the target is simply to make a marketing event as they want to present their latest products, but for smaller companies, the target is usually to find new buyers and generate more sales. Therefore, in many cases, trade shows may not offer enough return on investment, which is why many small and medium size companies opt out of trade shows and look for other alternatives.

How to Succeed in a Trade Show

If you want to increase your chances to succeed in a trade show you must follow some steps. More specifically:

Define your goals

The first and most important step is to set your goals. Both you and your team need to know what you want to succeed by attending such a demanding event. Also, it will be much easier to measure your success in the end. Your goals may include: brand awareness, an increase in sales and revenue, customer base expansion, and new business partners (distributors, retailers, investors, etc.)

Define your budget

Your budget depends on your goals. Besides the cost of the event price, you should consider all the additional costs that are included. For instance, product shipping, marketing activities, flyers, banners, and personnel costs for travelling and accommodation. 

Choose the right team

Another important factor you should take into account and plan in advance is your team. It is important to have the right people in your booth and the right action plan to maximise your success. Try to clearly state each one’s roles and responsibilities for the whole team. 

Marketing Plan

At trade shows the competition is high so you need to stand out from the crowd and be noticed. This is something you can achieve if you have a good marketing plan. In order to create a good marketing plan you need to have the right promotional material. This may include press releases, newsletters, social media, ads, banners and flyers to name a few. 

Trade shows displays – Booth image

Once you have built your marketing plan, you need to think about the image of your booth. So, try to make it attractive. Stand out with a trade show display design that makes the most of every angle. It’s important to show the originality and quality of your company. What you can do is keep a good balance between graphics and text. Also, choose the right ‘uniform’ for the event according to your company’s style. 

Create an unforgettable experience

Try to invite people to visit your booth and engage with them. You need to be friendly and at the same time professional, as well as creative and dynamic to create a memorable experience.

Tradesnest Solution

Tradesenest platform

Tradesnest offers a more cost-effective alternative for partnering with the right buyers.

In fact, Tradesnest originated from the pitfalls of trade shows, where hundreds to thousands of companies travel far away and ship their products across the world to the exhibition. As mentioned previously, the costs of trade shows are huge in time and money and small or medium companies have to make sacrifices to pay the needed amount to cover the expenses.

Disrupting the Trade Show Industry 

Tradesnest’s online platform helps small and medium size companies build business relationships with buyers around the world and reduce or remove the need for trade shows or other commercial fairs where buyers and sellers would traditionally meet. At the same time, Tradesnest is contributing to the reduction of CO2 footprint by digitising the trade show industry while increasing trade in a sustainable manner.

Moreover, trade shows happen only once a year which puts lots of pressure on companies to have products ready on time as otherwise, they might risk losing one year waiting for their next preferred event to meet their ideal buyer.

Environmental Impact 

graph for environmental impact of trade shows

Image source: Center for Exhibition Industry Research

The negative environmental impact brought by trade shows is also considerable. In a time when every gesture counts, transportation of both people and goods for short events leads to high emissions of CO2 from planes, trains, cars, and trucks. These events also generate a lot of waste. You can simply think of all the flyers and other marketing material being thrown away during and after the shows.

According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) and the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry (UFI) report “The largest environmental impact comes from greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from participant transport, venue energy, and general service contractor (GSC) warehouse-to-venue logistics. The total measured 2019 emissions for the B2B trade show industry in the U.S. and Canada are estimated at 6.1 million metric tonnes (MT) of GHG, equivalent to the combined annual footprint of 395,000 people in the U.S. or 314,000 people in Canada.”

Tradesnest is committed to providing a sustainable alternative to the non-environmentally friendly aspects of trade shows, thereby promoting a greener future for the industry. By disrupting this traditional way of doing business and reducing unnecessary emissions, Tradesnest leads the charge in B2B sustainable efforts. All while providing businesses around the world with an innovative platform that functions as a trade show and much more.

Key Benefits of Tradesnest

Tradesnest platform with different products categories

Tradesnest is an online B2B platform that covers over 80 countries around the world with companies within the consumer electronics industry.  

The platform offers brands and distributors the right tools to connect with each other in a very timely and cost-efficient way. Our team of experts has created an environment where it’s easy to communicate with potential partners and quickly take your business relationship to the next level. 

If you want to grow your business internationally fast and without spending much money, Tradesnest is an effective alternative where you can find distributors and connect with them directly.

Benefits of using the platform

world map of Tradesnest exclusive network
  1. Tradesnest screening process allows on the platform only distributors that have established relationships with national retailers and can buy in large volumes.
  2. You are in control. You select the distributors based on their profiles and decide if they are a fit.
  3. Grow fast in new markets and save time researching and pre-vetting distributors, we do all the work for you. 
  4. Post your products for free and be visible to the pre-vetted distributors.
  5. Get orders through the platform and get paid easily and securely from 180 countries.
  6. Use Tradesnest to validate your product before spending a significant amount of time and money on international trade shows.

So, what’s the bottom line?

Both trade shows and Tradesnest can help grow your business. However, if your main goal is to get new business fast without spending thousands, Tradesnest is the most cost-effective option that will drive revenue and get your product in front of the right distributors. The best part is that you can have access to the platform from anywhere in the world, meaning that you don’t need to travel overseas to find business partners. 

If you are a consumer electronics brand looking to enter new markets, sign up today on Registration takes only 3 minutes and once your profile is accepted by our team, your company and product profiles will be visible to our pre-vetted distributors’ network.