Exhibitions Vs Your Own Events

Author: Dan The Marketeer
Date: April 27, 2022

Which option is best for promoting your business?

Events have been a popular choice for businesses looking to advertise themselves for many years. But they come in many shapes & sizes.

Today let’s focus on two of the most popular options:

Exhibitions: Usually held in a huge venue in a major city, Exhibitions bring together market leaders in a certain industry so that they can promote themselves by having a stand, hosting a talk, etc. Tens of thousands of people go to these Exhibitions to seek out the best of the best in their field.


Own Events: A smaller event hosted and organised by a single business. They manage the lot, and get people to turn up.

Both options have both positives & negatives for businesses. Let’s dive in and take a look:



  • Exhibitions are frequented by thousands of qualified, relevant buyers looking for businesses to work with.
  • The costs for advertising your business at an exhibition is expensive, but less so than running your own events.
  • Great way to keep your brand relevant — if a business is not at a certain industry exhibition, they are often considered out of business.


  • There is so much competition. Whilst there may be thousands of people attending, only a fraction will take notice to you and your business. The rest will walk by your stand like you were never there.
  • It is harder to work the attendees and make sales. The vast majority will not be there to see you. So your team will have to build an awareness of your business and then get leads/sell.
  • A lot of your spend will go on a stand which you can’t keep afterwards. Unlike having brochures or merchandise, where you can take away any leftovers.

Own Events


  • The people in attendance are there for your business, and no other.
  • They also know your business well already, making it easier for your team to convert attendees into leads and sales.
  • You’re in charge — you dictate the event, what happens, when it happens. You’re in control allowing you to maximise your ROI.


  • Generally the costs will be higher. Not just because of the cost of hiring a venue, but because of the time and resources needed to arrange the event.
  • Compared to an exhibition, a lot more resources and time is needed. To find a suitable venue, market the event and get people to turn up, to manage the entire day, to deliver education, etc.
  • With the ability to generate a great ROI, also comes great risk. If very few people show up, you stand to lose money.

The Winner?

So of the two, who wins? Well, that’s up to you and your business. I will however say this.

In my professional opinion as a marketer, Exhibitions are a waste of money. Whilst the Exhibition model hasn’t really changed, the increase in alternatives (own events, etc) has made it apparent just how bad Exhibitions can be.

I’ve worked with businesses who attend Exhibitions that have completely failed. Tens of thousands invested, for only a tiny footfall at the stand at a handful of unqualified leads.

I therefore believe running your own events is the key. Sure, there is a lot more risk, but when managed and optimised properly it can reap results you just can’t get at Exhibitions.

A Gift For You

As a thank you for reading today I want to offer you a free copy of our guide: 25 Of The Best Ways To Promote Your Event or Webinar.

Helping our clients fill their events and webinars, or supporting them to do so themselves, via Facebook Ads is something we do 365 days a year.

How do we do this?  

Through our done for you and done with you services that you can learn more about here.

Whilst you’re here, I’d like to invite you to learn how The Marketeer continually filled the UK’s market-leading portfolio builder and property educator webinars and events over the last 24 months.

Finally, I have an ever increasing catalogue of free resources to help you fill your events and webinars.

Sell more. Inspire more. Change more lives.

Take care,


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