Showcasing a product or service at a trade show can be a valuable investment, but it can also be expensive. Many entrepreneurs have asked me if the price is worth the benefit. The answer really varies depending on the type of trade show and what someone hopes to gain from it.
In fact, I’ll be taking one of my new startup ventures to Slush 2013, a conference and exhibition in Finland that brings together emerging tech companies with media and international investors. Whether you’re looking for exposure locally, nationally, or internationally, trade shows can offer a great platform.
Throughout the years, I’ve found some trade show experiences to be more beneficial than others. There are a number of tips I’ve honed from the hundreds of shows I’ve exhibited at and attended.
Choosing the right trade show is key. As I mentioned, trade shows are pricey, so it’s important to pick the right ones. In the past, I’ve identified potential trade shows to attend by asking peers where they exhibit. I also frequently consult various trade associations to ask about their shows and other venues they’d recommend for a specific industry. Trade associations can be a great resource because they’ll have a deep understanding of your business segment and market.
Another lesson I’ve learned is to scrutinize the attendee list. When exhibiting, I request a list of the attendees and study it before a trade show. I’ll identify people I want to get in front of and even reach out to targets in advance of the show to invite them to breakout meetings or dinners. When reaching out to someone, though, entrepreneurs will need to find ways to differentiate themselves and do something special. The offer has to be enticing because attendees get bombarded with offers.
Read More Here: Forbes – Making Trade Shows Work For You