If you're serious about connecting to a high-value audience for your spa-related product or service, odds are good that at some point, you'll be exhibiting at a spa industry trade show. But how to choose the shows that make the most sense for your needs — and your budget? There are five critical steps to selecting the right shows at which to exhibit:

Step One: Background Analysis. Develop a general understanding of market growth and trends in your area of the industry. Which shows seem to be growing, which seem flat? Which shows offer the best education and speakers? Start a file on all the shows that you've heard about.

Step Two: Customer and Prospect Research/Feedback. Research your customers and prospects to help identify which shows they already know about and attend, and get their opinions on the value and importance of specific shows.

Step Three: Search Trade Show Industry Sources — Develop a Solid List of Possible Shows. Use the available trade show resources, including Web sites like and, to connect to show Web sites and information. You can find listings of the top spa trade shows at, and also at

Step Four: Interview Show Organizers. An in-depth interview of each show organizer will provide much of the qualitative and quantitative information you need to analyze the show.

Step Five: Analysis/Decisions. Create a spreadsheet or list to do an apples-to-apples comparison of the shows you're considering. Include elements such as: booth space cost, number of attendees, type of attendees (is it a public show, or a business-to-business show? Are the attendees mostly key decision makers and executives, or lower-level employees?). How many exhibitors are there? Where is the show being held?

Remember, there are MANY spa and beauty-related trade shows happening each year — and it's very expensive to exhibit at trade shows. So be sure to take your planning and research seriously, because it's going to be a major budget commitment.

If you'd like more information on exhibiting at spa trade shows, be sure to read SpaTrade's Special Report, SpaTrade's Spa Business Trade Show Planning Guide: Spend Less and Sell More When You Exhibit at a Spa or Beauty Trade Show