What to Consider Before Attending Your First Trade Show


If you are the founder or an employee of a small business, you know that resources are inevitably constrained. You and your team are taking on many projects and wearing numerous hats—all while focused on providing the best possible experience for your customers and clients. Because of this, it is useful to take on tasks or efforts that can serve multiple objectives at once.

For this, a trade show can be especially helpful. Trade shows help you not only market to your targeted audience, but they can be a terrific source for warm leads. You never know—a trade show can lead your business to one of your biggest clients who can then introduce you to other potential clients.

That said, this leads to one natural question. Considering the power of trade shows, how can you best use them to your advantage? The following list of trade show tips can help you leverage the power of trade shows without wasting your time.

Research Trade Show Opportunities

First, we recommend that you research the right trade shows to attend. It is better to be strategic than simply attending every trade show within your niche. Establish goals you wish to achieve at the trade show, such as increasing leads, building your company’s brand, or introducing a new product. Once pinpointed, your objectives can help you find trade shows that will be most beneficial.

Some of the other factors you may want to consider include the size of the show, how expensive it will be to rent exhibit space, and the distance between the show and your main working space.

Create an Exhibit That Reflects Your Business

After completing this first step, you will need to decide how you will pitch your business. In all likelihood, you will want to rent space at the trade show where you can display an exhibit. You can design and purchase your exhibit yourself or you can leverage trade show exhibit rentals. Whatever you choose, just ensure that your exhibit is comprehensive, professional, and reflects well on your business.

Communicate Clearly With Your Staff

Next, you need to ensure that your workers at the show are on the same page. They must put on the best face for your company. Your staff must be kind and courteous, and they should wear professional attire or clothing that contains your company’s logo. Beyond simple appearance, your staff must have a plan on how to interact with visitors to your booth or exhibit. This ranges from the attributes you want to highlight about your product or service to how you are going to gather leads. Doing this work before you arrive at the trade show will save you from some massive headaches.

Be Truly Present

Finally, be mindful and present. It is easy to be distracted at trade shows. When at your company’s exhibit, don’t look at your phone or try to multitask—your full attention should be on engaging visitors. Place more emphasis on speaking to exhibit visitors rather than your colleagues. By doing this, you will put yourself in a better position to obtain warm leads and find new business.

Trade shows can be a wonderful, cost-effective way to grow your business. That said, before attending a trade show, you will want to be strategic. By considering the tips above and constructing a well-thought strategy, you can both market your business and find new customers—all at the same time.


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