5 Cheapest-to-Most-Expensive Options for Marketing at Trade Shows

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If you are a B2B marketer, industry trade shows are often the ideal meeting place to network with your industry peers, all in one central place. So, incorporating trade shows into your marketing plans is often a terrific way to get in front of your target customers.

There are many ways to get the word out about your company at trade shows, with varying degrees of cost. Here are the top five options to consider, in order of cost, from least expense to most expensive.

1. Speak

The best thing to do is position yourself as an authority on a certain topic that is relevant to the audience of the show. The show organizers are always looking for good speakers to fill their agendas. Why can’t that be you?

You never want to pitch your company as the primary topic, as the show organizers won’t let you simply stand up and promote yourself. You want to pitch a topic that is educational to the attendees. The National Restaurant Association Show attendees are likely to be interested in learning the hottest new trends in restaurant designs and restaurant furniture, as an example.

If you can, find a brand-name customer of yours to collaborate with on that pitch to the show organizers. Instead of you pitching your own success, your customers can pitch that success for you. Look for collaborative pitches with your customers, as the show producers love getting brand name speakers on their rosters, much more than unknown startup executives.

The best thing about speaking is there are typically no costs to you, other than the travel time and costs to get there.

Related: Unlike Many Things That Are a Lot of Work, Trade Shows Are Worth It

2. Attend

If you can’t become a speaker, make sure you at least attend the event. Attendee costs are typically not that expensive, and they can yield a big pay day as you are networking throughout the event, rubbing shoulders with prospective customers at the lunches, break-out rooms and while walking the exhibit halls….