Getting to Know and be Known in Your Industry
The trade show and convention business in the U.S. is itself a big business. According to the latest numbers from the industry, over 1.8 million such events occur annually. That is a lot of meetings. They attracted over 200 million attendees and generated nearly $900 billion in economic activity.
The reason there are so many of these gatherings with so many attendees is that they work. A trade show is an annual event in most industries. They are a showcase for the latest and most important developments. Industry participants use the shows for networking, buying, selling, learning, and just having fun.
A trade show is one of the best ways to get a comprehensive overview of the principal companies in any industry. Virtually all shows have complementary education programs that cover a wide range of topics and information important to the industry and its members. It is one of the most efficient ways to get to know an industry, and it is very effective at introducing an individual to the industry.
New Business Owner and Trade Shows
Owning a new business is a challenging undertaking. Whether it is a startup or a going concern that you purchased, there is seldom enough time in the day to meet its demands. The new business owner constantly struggles with balancing priorities and keeping the revenue flowing. The pressures of a new business are actually one of the best reasons for an owner to make an investment and attend. In just two to three days, you can save months of work, research and phone calls. On top of that, you get a chance for some well-deserved rest and recreation.
One important aspect of a trade show is that people come to work and play. Depending on your industry, a booth at a trade show can gain important strategic relationships, generate sales and provide valuable insights to trends and competition. Trade shows are expensive. To make that investment worthwhile, people attending them are serious prospects, not window shoppers. That is the reason 200 million people attend them each year.
Benefits of Trade Show Attendance
As a new business owner, you can decide to attend a show as a visitor or as an exhibitor. Your industry and situation will determine which choice is the best investment of your time and money. However, the opportunity to have thousands of prospects walking by a booth is not to be taken lightly. Here are a few things to consider while weighing that decision of whether or not to exhibit.
- Establish and maintain relationships.
- Gain a sense of the market and market trends.
- Observe the competition.
- Learn directly from qualified prospects.
- Attend educational classes.
- See the newest products and technology.
- Gain industry credibility.
- Stand out from your competition.
- Generate qualified leads.
- Identify potential strategic partners.
- Get the creativity juices flowing.
- Get excited.
- Have fun.
Think through each of those items as a part of your decision process. If you have never exhibited at a trade show, the thought of doing so is intimidating. It will help a lot if you call the shows organizers. Explain your situation and start asking questions. Use the list above to verify in your mind that those benefits are real. The professionals that organize and run trade shows know their stuff and can give you additional insights.
Depending on your situation and business, exhibiting at a trade show is a step that will make a big difference to your company’s future.