Trade shows can surprisingly increase sales in your small business. Attending as many trade shows as possible can help establish your business’s credibility and reliability. It never hurts to have your name out there, especially with the competition.
What is a Trade Show?
Before we can understand how trade shows are beneficial, it is good to know what they are and how they work. Essentially a trade show is an event or exhibition held for thousands of people in an industry. Thousands of people can be investors, producers, businesses, inventors, representatives, and more. The most significant purpose of a trade show is to bring ideas and show off new services and products that can establish and inspire new relationships and connections between people in the same industry.
Why Should Small Businesses Attend Trade Shows?
Trade shows are beneficial for small businesses if these businesses and their representatives use the event correctly. For example, it is not good to come empty-handed. Small businesses selling a product, software, or service should purchase or lease a booth ahead of time.
However, having a place is not enough. It is crucial to attract your target audience, but you need to know who your target audience is and what they want to see. Do you want investors? Customers? Tailoring your experience or booth to your desired audience helps bring in new and fresh eyes. We recommend using buzz words that are important to your target audience. For example, if you are looking to sell to the younger generations, use words like ‘free,’ ‘environmentally-friendly,’ and ‘inclusive.’ Before creating the marketing and booth decorations, it is good to do some research ahead of time.
Using Trade Shows to Grow Your Small Business
The networking component is the most essential part of trade shows for small businesses that want to grow and thrive. Networking takes more than just a straightforward conversation, though. It is important to always leave the conversation by exchanging contact information. Bring double the amount of business cards you usually carry; this way, you do not run out! You never know when you can make a new connection or relationship.
During the trade show, signing deals and starting conversations are not rare. These conversations can lead to a long and meaningful relationship between two companies or investors and a business idea. Small businesses are not easy to grow, but with time, patience, and unique strategies, your business can thrive and continue to flourish.
Since small companies and businesses are not well known, trade shows also offer time for publicity. Typically, at these trade shows, there are publications and media outlets specific to the industry that look for new talent and upcoming small businesses. Scheduling an interview with one of these media outlets can boost recognition for your company and lead to interesting conversations.
Tips and Tricks for After the Trade Show
So, what happens once the trade show is over? The conversations and growth do not end after the trade show; most deals are signed and continued after the trade show is over. While it is not appropriate to write notes while someone is introducing themselves, once you take their business card, try to remember a strong point of discussion. The next day after the trade show, take about 30 minutes to an hour to write personal, simple, and sweet emails thanking everyone for their time. It is not enough to send a simple thank you email, though. To impress new connections and businesses, mention key takeaways from your conversation. This shows the receiver of the email that you are serious, considerate, and have a great memory.
Another beneficial tip or trick to consider after attending a trade show is to look for similar events. It is good to continue spreading the word about your company and its services or products if you have the availability, time, and money. You may run into the same companies or investors, which is okay! It shows commitment and leaves an excellent first impression.
All in all, attending a trade show is beneficial not only because it exposes your business to standard practices, solutions, and products in the industry but because they are great networking events. You never know who will be your next stakeholder or investor from the crowd.
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