Professional industry shows give small business owners ample opportunities – whether you’re looking to just attend a show as a visitor or participate as an exhibitor.

Benefits of attending as an exhibitor

Targeted leads and qualified buyers – Visitors to a professional industry show are there for a reason – and often that’s to buy. They’re showing their interest by being there and therefore, it gives you a powerful platform to meet potential new customers.

Build your brand – Whether you’re new to the industry or wanting to strengthen your brand, industry shows give you the chance to build on your brand. The more people see you and your branding, the more they will remember you – especially if you are handing out branded items!

One-to-one time – Even though industry shows attract a lot of visitors, it gives you ample opportunity to spend time with interested parties. This one-to-one time works two ways – it helps potential customers put a face to the product or brand. They can get to know you and what you can offer them. It also gives them plenty of time to discuss their needs and find out how the solutions work.

Market research – Whether you want to look into your target market or your competition, industry shows give you the chance to do both!

A platform to launch new products and services – Having a collection of potential customers in one place makes it a great opportunity to launch a new product or service to a targeted, interested and ready-to-buy contacts.

Benefits of attending as a visitor

If you’re not yet ready to exhibit at an industry show, you’ll still gain lots from visiting one. Not only will you get to see what does and doesn’t work (in terms of exhibiting) but you’ll also be able to:

Product sourcing – Gain ideas of what is and isn’t in demand, when it comes to products and services.

Market research – Find out what price points work, what potential customers are looking for, who those potential customers are and how to narrow down your niche, and what potential gaps are in the market. Having different suppliers under one roof enables easy comparison between products too.

Networking – Having individual contact with existing suppliers enables you to build a list of contacts for potential future joint ventures and affiliate opportunities. It also gives you the chance to gain valuable help and advice that can be used in your own business.

Whether you’re attending as a visitor or an exhibitor, professional industry shows offer you ample opportunities to establish and grow your business, as well as build your profile and brand recognition – making them essential for any business owner that wants to be a success.

How do you feel about professional industry shows? Do you attend or exhibit at them each year? Do you have any tips for those who have yet to experience a trade show? Why not share your advice and tips in the comments box below.

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