What could be worse than organising a fantastic trade show or exhibition at no small cost and finding that hardly anyone turns up?

If you've done your research properly, this nightmare scenario is unlikely to materialise. However, if you forge ahead without gauging demand, you could be left with egg on your face.

The first question to ask when organising a major event is who will come? And in what numbers? If you've established demand for a show or exhibition in your area, get the pricing right and choose a suitable location, you should have no trouble generating interest.

Both exhibitors and customers recognise the value in attending a trade show; businesses can attract new customers, and consumers can find the products or services they need.

But this is not the only issue you need to consider.

What happens if you organise a trade show or exhibition that clashes with a longer-established event somewhere else in the country?

Unless the rival show is hugely over-subscribed, people just aren't going to come to your event.

They might like to have been in attendance, but the laws of physics mean they can't be in two places at the same time.

In this sense, there are no excuses for not checking the events calendar in your industry and avoiding key dates.

Trade shows and exhibitions are planned a long time in advance, so you should be aware of any events that might clash with your own.

It might not even be a trade show; it could be a public holiday or other special event - like a coronation or major sports final - which is likely to grab people's attention.

There are 52 weeks in the year, and as such, 52 weekends. It isn't difficult to choose one that nobody else has selected, allowing you to have the pick of the field.