BBB Advice on Trade Show Opportunities

May 24, 2013

If your business has decided to broaden its outreach by participating in trade shows, it pays to carefully research the event promoter. The Better Business Bureau receives complaints from time to time from businesses that have lost money to unethical trade show promoters.

When considering renting space at a trade show event, the BBB advises businesses to:

  • Ensure that the event is legitimate. Check with the venue to find out if the event has been booked there.
  • Investigate the organization that is holding the event to ensure it is reputable.
  • Has the event been held before? If so, ask to speak to people who attended.
  • Consider paying for the event by credit card. If the services are not rendered as promised, you have recourse through your credit card provider.
  • Be wary of any Web sites promoting trade show events that do not list the name and address of the trade show organizer or promoter.
  • Ask the event organizers about any hidden or add-on costs, such as fees for electricity and Internet hookup, tables and tablecloths, and other charges that may not be included in the booth rental fees.
  • Ask to see a booth rental contract before you make any financial commitments. Carefully review the terms and understand what you will be committing to and what recourse you have if the event is cancelled.