Trade shows are available for most, if not all, industries. As an annual event providing the most up-to-date information available about industry topics and an opportunity for companies to meet potential clients and display their latest catalog, trade shows are an integral part of the industry calendar. You might think that trade shows are only for market leaders, but attending a trade show as a small business can be hugely beneficial.
Here are three reasons why you should attend trade shows as a small business.
1. Networking opportunities.
There is no occasion that gathers as many industry professionals in the same location as a trade show. Networking provides a great opportunity to increase your contacts in the industry, contacts that could become good allies by sharing information, recommending your business to others, and potentially even become new customers. At trade shows, you can book appointments with businesses that will be in attendance. This will take the form of a formal meeting and is a better option if you have something specific to discuss, such as potential contracts.
However, if you don’t feel quite ready to do this just yet, many trade shows offer hospitality events so that you can network with other businesses in a more informal setting. For instance, a company might host drinks and snacks at their stand at the end of a long exhibition day.
2. Marketing opportunity.
Reserving an exhibition spot at a trade show might seem a bit overwhelming for a small business, but it really is a great marketing opportunity and way to get noticed by other industry professionals. Custom trade show displays allow you to customize your space in such a way as to use it as an additional marketing tool. Use a color scheme to fit with your branding, or perhaps go one step further and print your logo and any other relevant graphics, such as a bitesize overview of your USPs, on your display.
You can incorporate large-scale posters and banners of your products and services in action as part of your display, as well as choosing an appropriate shelving option for displaying products. Chairs and tables will give your space an inviting feel as prospective customers browse your catalogs.
Trade shows are the principal method in which new information is disseminated throughout the industry. From lectures on emerging trends and market analysis of the previous year, to new product reveals or new tactics in small business SEO, you will leave a trade show with a much greater knowledge of your industry and many ideas about how you can grow your own business in the upcoming year. Trade shows also offer other opportunities to gain information aside from lectures and demonstrations. Take the time to wander the exhibit space and look at a few stalls. You’ll gain a good overview of what other companies are producing and how they are presenting themselves; similarly, talking to representatives on stands is a good opportunity to network and exchange business cards.
There you have it: three reasons why small businesses should attend trade shows.