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Top Ten Reasons to Attend a Trade Show

There are many reasons to attend an industry trade show. While there are usually some costs involved for travel and registration (although you can often get a complimentary show pass), the value of what you gain in knowledge, exposure to new products, business contacts, and ideas to enhance your own business typically far outweighs the costs.

  1. Learn about new developments. The industry's latest technology will be on display for you to explore. Thought leaders will give seminars and conduct workshops. Industry experts will present new products and current trends. You'll quickly get up to speed on where the industry is heading.
  2. Be inspired. Trade shows are a concentration of creativity. As you walk around, you'll see innovative new ways to do the same job in a fraction of the time or at a lower operational cost. You'll likely come back with ideas to streamline your own business processes.
  3. Meet exhibitors. Whether establishing a new relationship with a vendor or strengthening an existing one, a trade show is an ideal place to speak one-on-one with employees of the company. You can get a feel for the company culture, give them feedback on how their product or service could further enhance your business, and get their feedback on your product.
  4. Network with other attendees. A trade show affords the opportunity to talk with other trade show visitors who may become strategic business partners or prospective customers.
  5. Compare products. You can compare similar products offered by different companies and also compare different product lines within the same company, all in one day at one location.
  6. Find solutions specific to your company needs. Many exhibitors will have application specialists, technical experts and finance personnel staffing the booth that will help you determine what products and services are the best fit for your company, in its current state and for the future.
  7. Gain firsthand experience. A picture is worth a thousand words but seeing a product up close and in action can be priceless. At a trade show, you'll be able to see live demonstrations and watch products at work. You can discover how easy a product is to use and the quality and speed with which it operates.
  8. Check out the competition. Stay up do date on what your competitors are doing, what industries they're serving, and compare those findings with your own business practices.
  9. Consolidate the purchasing process. Researching available options, comparing products, and connecting with vendors all take time. This process could take weeks, but with the concentration of resources and information available at a trade show, that timeline can be boiled down to a single day.
  10. Get deals. Exhibiting companies will often offer trade show specials or pricing incentives that can save you money.

While attending a trade show is great for gaining industry knowledge, comparing products, and making contacts, it can also be a daunting experience if you’re not proactive and prepared. To get the most out of your time at a trade show, download this checklist and follow the helpful tips included.

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