Every once in a while, someone will tell me that they don’t go to trade shows, either as an attendee or an exhibitor, because they simply don’t have the time. My response to that is that time spent at a trade show is always worth it, both as an attendee and as a vendor. I admit, I’ve spent more time as one than I have the other, but I feel like I also have some insight into what attendees get from a show because I’ve met and talked with so many of them over the years. So, if you haven’t been to a trade show yet, or haven’t been to one recently, here is my short pitch for why you should be attending trade shows, either as an attendee or as a vendor.
If you’re an attendee, a trade show is a great place to make connections, both with fellow decorators and with employees of the suppliers with whom you want to work. A trade show will almost always have a robust slate of seminars, so it’s also a place where you can learn more about disciplines you already do, or get a start on trying something new. It’s also a place to brush up on your business skills, be it sales and marketing, using social media, or figuring out how to communicate your pricing.
If you’re a vendor, there’s no better place than a trade show to connect with new and current customers. Depending on the show, you may be able to sell on the show floor, which has the potential for the dispersal of a large amount of inventory in a short amount of time. A trade show can also be a terrific way to establish a presence in a part of the country where you may not have a facility. It’s also a place to meet industry media and establish connections with industry stars.
Attending a trade show is definitely worth the time and money, whether you’re an attendee or a vendor. Shows like DAX Chicago and NNEP EmbroideryMart look for venues that offer affordable accommodations for attendees. Some shows will also offer load in methods for vendors that minimize the cost of bringing a booth and product to sell to the show. The first thing to do is to take a look at the shows you might want to attend or vend at, and then compare pricing with what’s being offered. Your aim should be to find a show that will allow you to accomplish your goals without breaking your budget.
If you’re wondering where EnMart will be in the next few months, we will be at DAX Chicago May 3-4 and highly encourage everyone to join us in booth 701. We will also be at the NBM Meadowlands Show in New Jersey in July.