How Do I Become a Trade Show Manager?

D. Nelson

A trade show is an exhibition that is designed to bring a number of different businesses from the same industry together in one space. The purpose of this kind of exhibition is to allow services to demonstrate new developments, observe behaviors of competitors, and help analysts and business owners to gain a better understanding of a market. Trade shows can be open to consumers or they can be open to only representatives from participating organizations. The primary duties of trade show managers may include organizing exhibitions, communicating with participants, and determining budgets. To become a trade show manager, it can be helpful to gain a background in management and business communication and in some cases to have experience working with particular industries.

A trade show coordinator is responsible for managing every aspect of a professional trade show.
A trade show coordinator is responsible for managing every aspect of a professional trade show.

An individual who would like to become a trade show manager first might want to study in an academic business program. While there are no degrees or certifications necessary to hold this position, many companies that put together trade exhibitions prefer to hire managers who have demonstrated proficiency in business management principles and terminology. Understanding the basics of finance and learning leaderships skills can be good steps for becoming a trade show manager.

Good communication skills are necessary for trade exhibition managers. Much of the job may include performing duties such as finding venues and business that want to participate. These tasks may require clear and concise writing of emails and letters. Negotiation skills are also an asset for a professional who would like to become a trade show manager.

Many professionals in this field have some experience in event planning. This is the practice of putting together events such as weddings, large parties, receptions, and exhibits. An individual who has acquired this skills set can multitask and set realistic budgets that are determined by a number of varying factors.

In some cases, it might be necessary to have a good understanding of a particular industry in order to become a trade show manager. For example, if you are considering working for a trade show service that works primarily with the computer industry, you may want to have a background in Information Technology (IT). This background can help you to excel in a management position by giving you insight into which businesses to invite to exhibitions and how best to communicate with representatives about products and displays.

To become a trade show manager, it might be necessary first to demonstrate your skills by acting in a lower level position for a trade show service. You might assist a manager by placing phone calls and organizing paperwork. This kind of position can give you valuable experience and help you to make connections that can later become leads and references.

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