Small Business Trade Shows Are a Must-Do

A small business doesn’t thrive by sitting behind a desk all day. It must be exposed to the world in order to have a chance at survival. Attending small business trade shows is one of the best ways to expose your business to everyone and take advantage of a valuable marketing and networking opportunity.

If you have not yet experienced a trade show, then you are missing out. If you have and didn’t find it useful, you should reevaluate your experience. Here are a few things you need to know about a trade show:

  • Attendee versus exhibitor
  • Exposure for your business
  • Getting the most out of the show

Attendee Versus Exhibitor

Attending a show can be done as an attendee or as an exhibitor. There are benefits to both as well as cost associated with both. Having a booth is expensive, but does have its rewards with greater exposure. Showing up as an attendee gives you the freedom to walk around at your own pace to meet everyone.

Small business trade shows are a must-do for small businesses
To get the most out of small business trade shows, you need to have a plan.

If you are an exhibitor, invite your customers out prior to the event. Having them show up at your booth will give it a “busy” feeling which will likely attract more people and give you a greater opportunity for exposure. Also make sure that if you decide to be an exhibitor, turn yourself into an attendee at some point during the show. Making the rounds is important and allows you to maximize your opportunities.

Exposure at Small Business Trade Shows

Exposure is one of the main benefits you will receive from small business trade shows. Regardless if you are an attendee or an exhibitor, you will be able to network with other businesses and discuss what your business does. There will be plenty of media at these events and you need to seek them out in hopes they will do a story about you and your business. In addition, it gives you a chance to meet face to face with potential customers. It is a great branding opportunity for any business.

Getting the Most out of Small Business Trade Shows[1]

To get the most out of small business trade shows, you need to have a plan. Don’t simply go and look around as a means of “being there.” Saying you were there is one thing. Taking advantage of the opportunity is another. Know your goals prior to going to the show. If you are an exhibitor, set a goal of how many new contacts you want to make or something similar. Also ensure that you make new contacts at the show. Obtain names, email addresses, cell phone numbers, etc. Keep a list of everyone you run into and a note next to each out how you believe they can help your business. Don’t forget to follow-up with each once the show is complete and you are back at your business the following week.


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