Connecting directly with a customer or client can take time and effort. Many sales reps need help to arrange meetings or find time to sit down with potential prospects to engage in future partnerships, which leaves many feeling demotivated.

Trade shows are a robust platform that allows businesses to display and portray their entire company in a booth. The booth is a perfect opportunity that will be set up to allow clients and customers to witness and experience the company. A company can focus on products, service, and their work culture and values to ensure potential customer visit their trade show booth.

The argument can be made that trade shows are not worth a company’s time and energy. But this is not true. Benefits and statistics will provide any company with the necessary information and data to ensure that a trade show is of great value to any company.

Is A Trade Show Worth It?

Companies in all industries are concerned with whether trade shows are worth the energy, money, time, and planning. The results will speak for itself, providing companies with the necessary information on whether to invest in a trade show booth.

  • According to research, the Business to business trade show market in the United States was estimated to be worth 10.2 billion dollars in 2022. (Statista)
  • With a massive worth, 95% of marketers believe that in-person events will help achieve business goals.
  • Businesses can access an entirely new customer group through trade show booths. 64% of trade show attendees are not current customers of the Business on display,
  • This allows companies to target an entirely new market audience. 82% of attendees have buying authority.
  • 77% of executive attendees use trade shows to find a new supplier.
  • 79% of attendees believe that trade shows assist them in determining what to buy, while 49% of trade show attendees buy at least one product at the show.
  • 74% of the attendees will likely buy an exciting product after seeing it at a trade show.
  • 56% of visitors will travel over 400 miles to attend a trade show.
  • 70% of businesses generate new leads and create brand awareness from trade shows in 2022
  • Trade show attendees will share their experiences on specific booths with six people.

The statistics prove that companies can use trade shows to grow their business, reach their goals, find a range of new customers, and generate new leads. The trade show provides companies with the foundation to build new relationships and create a strong following, leading to the answer that trade shows are worth it.

Statistics on Trade Show Planning

Capitalizing on a trade show takes planning and determination. Businesses can only attend some trade shows within the country. Thus planning and determining the best-suited shows take time.

  • 48% of event planners start to plan their trade shows six to 12 months before the event.
  • Determining and planning an advertising platform is of utmost importance. 42% of exhibitors use email marketing before the event, which will draw the attention they require.
  • Deciding on a clear goal will allow the team to create a trade show that will assist in fulfilling the purpose.
  • 85% of exhibitors stated that their primary goal is to generate leads.
  • 83% of businesses attend shows to increase sales.
  • 78% of exhibitors plan to use social media at the trade show to showcase the event to their following

Statistics of Trade Show Attendees

Before covid (2019)

  • In 2019 the market cap size was around $15.55 billion.
  • There was an average of 28.6 shows nationally in the U.S.

During Covid (2020-2021)

  • In 2020 and 2021, the market cap size was around $6.59 billion.
  • There was an average of 8.2 shows in the U.S.

Post covid (2022-2023)

  • The market cap size is currently at $10.19 with a few months left of the year.
  • An average of 21.3 shows are expected for the year.

Statistics of Trade Show Exhibitors

Exhibitors are vital to every trade show. These are the companies that make use of trade shows to increase their marketing reach and work to bring the company to the attendees.

  • 95% of exhibitors prefer in-person over online events.
  • 64% of exhibitors plan to exhibit at more trade shows in 2023.
  • 72% of businesses need help charging floorspace and utilities at trade shows.
  • 97% of event marketers believe hybrid events will be part of the future trade.
  • 64% of exhibitors choose a trade show based on the quality of attendees attending the trade show.
  • Exhibitors place 54% of attending a trade show on costs, 40% on the industry, and 38% on the geographic location of the event.
  • 28% of exhibitors start to plan their marketing two months before the event.
  • 81% of exhibitors use email to follow up on their trade show leads.
  • An eye-catching stand is the most effective method for attracting attendees, according to 48% of exhibitors surveyed.
exhibition statistics for trade shows

Statistics on Trade Show Return of Investment

The return on investment is critical in a business. For every dollar spent in the trade show industry, the company must be able to make more in return (Positive ROI). The return on investment can be spectacular if the team builds and creates an amazing booth.

  • 64% of event marketers say trade shows are used as new business opportunities
  • Companies can see a 4:1 return on investment (maximum ROI) for their trade show expenditures.
  • Lead generation is the top reason to attend events, according to 46% of event managers.
  • Regrettably, a mere 6% of exhibitors are confident in converting leads at a trade show effectively.
  • 40% of exhibitors wait three to five days after a trade show to follow up with their leads.
  • 81% of exhibitors use email to follow up with leads collected at a trade show.
  • Converting a trade show lead is 38% less expensive than relying on sales calls alone.
  • Among Fortune 500 companies, 14% reported a 5:1 return on investment (ROI) from their trade show exhibitions, meaning they earned $5 for every $1 spent.
  • 52% of business leaders believe that trade shows and events provide potential ROI compared to other marketing channels.

Statistics of Trade Show Costs

Every trade show will cost the business money. The company must identify key aspects that will need financial support to create an amazing booth that will attract many attendees.

  • Attending a trade show costs around 31% of a company’s marketing budget.
  • 14% of the trade show budget will cover travel and accommodation expenses for the employees.
  • Exhibitors can spend between $600 and $1500 on the display.
  • 40% of businesses plan to increase their trade show budget.
  • 84% of exhibitors will upgrade to a larger space if high-quality attendees attend a trade show.
  • Meeting ideal prospects at a trade show costs around $142 less than meeting at the office.
  • The average exhibit cost is around $10,000 to $30,000 per booth at a trade show.
  • The total spending on trade show events in the U.S. was $15.6 billion in 2019.
  • The average cost to attend a show is between $600 and $1000 per person.
  • The cost per lead generated at trade shows is $112 on average
  • Trade shows account for 40% of B2B marketing budgets.
  • The average cost to rent furniture for a trade show booth is $500 to $1,000.
  • The average cost to rent a trade show display is $3,000 to $5,000.
  • The average cost to trade show staff a trade show booth is $2,500 to $5,000 per show.
  • The average price for designing a trade show booth is $5,000 to $15,000.
  • The average cost to print promotional materials for a trade show is $500 to $1,000
  • The average cost to hire a trade show model is $150 to $250 per hour.
  • The average price of a 20×20 exhibit space at a trade show is $15,000 to $20,000.

Check Out This Trade Show Booth Cost $100,000:

Environmental Impact of Trade Shows: Statistics

There are major environmental problems that occur throughout a trade show. These problems will lead many to avoid and boycott trade shows in general. However, trade show planners can find creative ways to build sustainable trade shows that attendees can enjoy.

  • 92% of businesses plan to exhibit more sustainably at a trade show.
  • More than glad that trade show attendees will travel more than 400 miles to attend an exhibition.
  • Trade shows generate an estimated 600,000 tons of trash annually in the U.S. alone.
  • The average trade show attendee generates 4.5 pounds of waste daily, higher than the average American.
  • An estimated 60% of the materials used in trade show booths are in landfills.
  • Shipping and transporting exhibits to and from shows generates significant greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Producing trade show banners, signage, and promotional materials can have a significant carbon footprint.
  • Exhibitions and events are responsible for 1.3 million tons of CO2 emissions annually in the U.S. alone.
  • The food and beverage waste generated by trade shows is significant, with an estimated 20-30% of food going to waste.
  • Trade shows often require single-use plastics, such as water bottles and utensils.
  • Printing promotional materials and brochures can have a significant environmental impact, with an estimated 1 billion trees being cut down annually for paper production.
  • Using water at trade shows for landscaping and other purposes can contribute to water scarcity and waste.
  • Trade show flooring is often made of materials that cannot be recycled or reused, such as carpet tiles.

Pandemic Trade Show Statistics

The pandemic had a significant impact on trade shows. Many had to rethink and evaluate their approach to trade shows and find other marketing methods for the target audience.

  • 95% of exhibitors prefer in-person events.
  • Brands that attend live events are 28% more innovative when interacting face-to-face with attendees.
  • In-person trade shows were deemed invaluable to the marketing strategy of 65% of businesses.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a 55% reduction in new Business for event marketers due to the pausing of trade shows.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of over 10,000 trade shows globally in 2020.
  • The creative trade show industry is expected to lose $23 billion due to COVID-19 in 2020.
  • 81% of trade show organizers postponed or canceled their events due to COVID-19 in 2020
  • 76% of B2B marketers believe virtual events will continue to play a role in their marketing strategy post-COVID-19.
  • 70% of trade show exhibitors plan to participate in virtual events in 2021 due to COVID-19.
  • The global exhibition industry saw a decline of 68.9% in revenues in 2020 due to COVID-19.
  • The global virtual events market is expected to grow from $78 billion in 2019 to $774 billion by 2030 due to COVID-19
  • 61% of B2B marketers had to cancel or postpone a live event due to COVID-19.
  • 48% of trade show exhibitors had to cancel their exhibits due to COVID-19.
  • 64% of trade show organizers are exploring hybrid event options due to COVID-19.
  • The use of virtual and augmented reality at virtual events increased by 67% due to COVID-19.

Largest Trade Show Convention Centers In The US

  1. McCormick Place – Chicago, IL
  2. Orange County Convention Center – Orlando, FL
  3. Las Vegas Convention Center – Las Vegas, NV
  4. Georgia World Congress Center Authority – Atlanta, GA
  5. Sands Expo & Convention Center – Las Vegas, NV


What Exactly is Trade Show Analysis?

At the end of every trade show, the team must evaluate the results of the entire event. Identify what areas need to be fixed and where the team can improve.

Is a Trade Show Profitable?

Trade shows are profitable. Businesses expect a four to 1 Return on investment ratio. This means that the leads and the sales at the show will be higher than the entire spending of the event.

How Much Should You Budget for a Trade Show?

An average booth design space costs around $20, 000 and an appropriate budget is around $60,000.

How Many People Attend Trade Shows?

Approximately 11.5 million professionals attended business-to-business trade shows in the U.S. last year.

Final Considerations

Trade shows can be of great value to any business. The platform allows the team to communicate directly with the customers. The team can advertise, explain and educate the attendees on the products, services, and company brand. Trade shows are incredibly profitable and will be of great value to any company that uses them.


Sabine Ghali

Kelly Murphy


Certified Meeting planner with 20+ years of event management experience, founder of ConferenceSource, expert in meeting facility sourcing & contracting in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Kelly will manage your budget as if they were her own, negotiating the best possible rate and hotel contract to benefit and protect every client and exceed all expectations for all planning aspects for sales meetings, educational meetings, product launches, incentive trips down to a small board of directors meeting. We make meetings easy understanding your meeting objectives and delivering meeting matched components.