Networks have become increasingly important for the successful internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Trade shows are one key vehicle where SMEs often develop networks, through which valuable resources for internationalisation can be acquired. However, relatively little is known about the performance consequences of network development of international SMEs (ISMEs). Adopting a network-based view, this study examines the role of trade shows in predicting the performance of ISMEs. Results from a survey of 229 Australian and New Zealand SMEs suggest that proactiveness is positively related with the development of networks through trade shows, which, in turn, increases the firms’ operational performance, but not financial performance. In addition, the effect of trade shows is generally more beneficial for ISMEs in the service industry, compared to other industries.