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Every year there are hundreds of trade shows and conventions with specific and not so specific target audiences to showcase the latest and greatest in technology. If you are small business, you may be tempted to attend, but intimidated by the time spent away from your business. If you are a large company, you may feel that your time is not well spent walking the trade show floor. You may be more inclined to send an employee or sales rep to attend and scout out new business.
However, as the face of your company, you could be doing yourself a huge disservice by not attending these shows and conferences. You may trust your team, but you are missing out on potential partnerships with other VARs that could bring overall strength to your business. In addition, you are not getting to experience the latest in technology or latest competition first hand. Trade shows and conventions also have industry panels that allow for greater insight to where the industry is heading and what challenges are on the horizon. Even if you don’t agree, hearing those discussions first hand, will lend ideas on how you can grow and better your company.
Other great benefits of attending trade shows are the keynote speakers. Often, these speakers are not industry specific, but they can be about people and social trends in general. Keynote speakers can help you to think about your company brand, culture and potential. The downfall of some companies is simply struggling to adapt to new strategies, because the ways of the past have always served them well. Evolution of your company’s identity begins with the employees who work for and with you every day.
Most trade shows and conventions have meeting rooms and Wi-Fi, so you don’t have to sacrifice work to attend; you can accomplish tasks for your business while learning how to better your company overall. Even if you lose one day out of the office, you could be gaining thousands in sales, which in turn will give you longevity in business. Collect business cards and contact information from everyone you meet or anyone who piques your interest. Follow up with them when you get back to the office, so you can continue the conversation.
Look for additional support from manufacturers who can fund your ticket, if the cost to attend is beyond your budget. Remember – business is about innovation, challenges, and hard work. You have to spend money and take risks to grow as a company, and trade shows and conventions are a great investment overall for your business and brand.
Co-Contributor: Deanna Joseph