Trade shows and conferences are held for every major industry and companies large and small attend both as vendors and as show goers. It can be expensive, especially if you have a booth, the venues are often hot and crowded and the food isn’t all that great. Yet, attending a trade show or two could be important for your creative business.
So what are some of the reasons you might attend a trade show or conference and what could it mean for your creative business?
You have an opportunity to advertise to your particular customers. If you are walking the floor or setting up a booth at a trade show you will have the opportunity to talk to people who work in your same line of business. People who buy or sell the tools to make what it is you make, people who are equally passionate about what you do and people who speak the language. Sometimes it’s just nice to be in a place where everyone “gets it” and that’s also the perfect way to market to your target audience. And you never know, you may be able to drum up some work from some of the vendors attending the show. They will need show samples and booth displays and possibly even instructors for demos and workshops.
Attending a trade show is the perfect opportunity to see what else is out there. Including your competition. You’ll get a first hand glimpse of their newest product releases and promotions. If you are walking the show floor you’ll also be able to see what other creative business owners are buying and getting excited about. Knowing what your competition is up to, or getting ahead of the folks still at home, is a great way to be first in line for new trends, releases and ideas.
Speaking of ideas. Attending a trade show is a fabulous way to get new ideas and inspiration for your creative business. You’ll see all sorts of product samples, booth displays, demonstrations and make and takes that are bound to release all sorts of creative ideas.
Classes. Most trade shows and conferences offer classes prior to or during the show. Attending some of the classes will give you working knowledge of new products and techniques. If you can attend a seminar or business related class you’ll also be able to update your information about your industry, owning a business, or even marketing your business.
Networking. Trade shows and conferences are a great way to network with other people in your industry. You’ll have the opportunity to meet people who make what you make, sell what you sell and know what it’s like to do it. You will find kindred spirits, new gurus to learn from and maybe a few new friends to help make working from your studio on your own seem a bit less lonely. Not only will you meet other makers but you’ll have a chance to meet the people who run the suppliers you love. Business runs so much more smoothly when the buyers and sellers have met face to face and it makes the every day transactions much more personal.
Have you attended a trade show? How do you feel it benefited your creative business?
By: Vicki O’Dell , The Creative Goddess