Trade shows are notoriously expensive to do with the high costs of renting the display space that has to be paid up front before the orders (income) start coming in.
Yet trade shows can be an excellent way to build the profile of your business.
So is there a middle ground?
Many trade shows are held by industry associations that have different levels of membership. Some associations give their members opportunities to communicate directly to other members. So marketing directly to other members about your products or services can be effective and more affordable than having a trade fair exhibition space.
It takes a bit of creative thinking to come up with ways to test marketing ideas but it is cheaper and can be more successful.
You might need to shop around for the right industry associations so that their members represent your target audience – your ideal customers – but it can be a much smarter way of spending your marketing and advertising money.