Trade Shows: What’s the Point!

Trade-Show-word-cloudTrade shows are an integral part of your business whether you are attending or exhibiting.  If you’re not attending at all, then you are missing out on some great opportunities.

The trade show is a fantastic concept that serves many facets of business.  There are a few types of tradeshows that serve different purposes.  Some tradeshows are strictly geared toward B2B while others are B2C and everything in between.  Regardless of the type of show, benefits can typically be found for anyone.

I’ve been to a B2B tradeshow where I saw consumers attend.  I thought it strange at the time, but I understood after talking with them.  They were representatives of a large corporation that were there to learn about what’s new in the industry.  They don’t perform any of the services that the trade shows was centered on, but they were consumers of it and wanted to know industry standards to be knowledgeable on the subject for future purchases.

Tradeshows are not just a place where suppliers peddle their wares.  Trade shows offer much more than that.  Here are three main things you can gain from attending or exhibiting at a trade show:

Knowledge – Some trade shows offer instructional classes. They can talk about anything from common problems to new industry technology to marketing and managing your business.  This is a great way to learn more about the industry and even pick up some tips and tricks to use in your business.  The trainers are typically industry experts, which make them great teachers for your employees.

Aside from training, trade shows typically gather intelligence from everybody attending and exhibiting.  This helps to produce market data and research reports, which can be used in strategic planning. If you’re a member of the trade show’s association, you can usually get these reports at a reduced price.

Networking – This is your opportunity to network with competitors from across the country.  Typically, you are of no threat to them, so sharing secrets isn’t that big of a deal.  They can also become a valuable ally that you can call upon for help in dealing with situations that they may be better versed in.  For example: Let’s say you took on a new service offering, but were still very new to it.  However, this guy you met at the conference has been doing it for years and offered to help you if you had any questions.  Wouldn’t that be better than going it alone and possibly doing things wrong?

This is also an opportunity to network with potential partners.  You can lay the groundwork for strategic alliances or find a production partner that can help you cut costs.  If you’re an expert in your industry, you can offer to speak and help advance the industry.  This is also a great way to get your name out there and establish yourself as the expert with potential customers.

Purchasing and Sales – This is the main point of the trade show.  It’s your industry’s marketplace.  If your selling products or services, you can land big contracts here.  Some deals are negotiated and signed in the backrooms of these shows.  If your there as a purchaser, you can see what’s new and what can help your business be more productive or profitable.  Speaking from experience, I’ve found many great products that have helped my company differentiate itself and become more profitable.

I hope that I’ve given you enough reasons that demonstrate the importance of trade shows.  Check out or to find the next trade show for your industry. Are you planning on exhibiting?  Be sure to make a trade show plan to get the best bang for your buck!

Thank you for reading and remember to “Stop Doing the Mundane, and Start Getting Weird!”

(Image Credit)


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