By Kristin Hovde

A trade show can be the ultimate marketing tool for businesses all over the world, but only when done right. They create a buzz about new products that are released in the market and also act as a lead generator.

Taking your small business on the road has a lot of benefits that include meeting new partners, reaching a new audience, connecting with a new client base, and getting new ideas from various individuals you meet while on the road.

These are some of the ways you can grow your startup using trade shows.

Do Thorough Research

You need to carry out extensive research before you commit yourself to any particular trade show event. You can visit various trade shows as an attendee and observe all the processes.

The green business trade show is greatly growing in numbers, so it ‘s nice to do a diligence research before embarking on a similar journey.

Learn To Be Choosy

Globally, the number of trade shows has significantly increased in the last ten years. Despite that, there are still advantages to both small- and big-scale events, so it just depends on what you are interested in.

It is also equally important to carefully understand the profile of the attendees you are expecting. Organizers should have all the demographic details that you might need.

For people who are on the lookout for exposure, the most prestigious conferences that are within your industries can be a good starting point. You must be very creative and innovative in your selection. Remember that product launches should just target end buyers.

Develop Excellent Negotiating Skills

You will need to have excellent negotiation skills to guarantee you good exposure at any trade show. Put yourself in the shoes of a customer each time you are having a conversation with organizers.

Think about your initiative as an investment. All the conferences are not the same, but you can earn additional bonuses apart from your event sponsorship, or your speaking engagement. You should have information on the type of literature the event will be able to offer and check if you can be allocated some advertising space.

Be Creative

Creating a beautiful booth space is in itself a fine art. Apart from just displaying your services and products, a booth space should be understandable and attractive at the same time. Creating a compelling booth on a budget is something that is very possible. You can decide to use recycled materials and painted boxes to design a stylish pop-up shop and gallery.

Remember that you do not have to spend vast sums of money, but you must think of booth area as a blank canvas.

Always Be Social

Social media has a level of power that shouldn’t be underestimated before or after a trade show. Use the trade show itself and your previous contacts as platforms to build brand recognition and push your message to the audience. Organize multiple meetings earlier during the show so that you can build a relationship with your stakeholders during the actual event.

At the event, continue embracing the spirit of being social. Be assertive, firm and ensure that you and your staff dress in a suitable manner. Before you officially begin, hold brief training sessions to help your employees get ready for client interaction. Ensure that your message is clear, clean and consistent.


Speaking about the right topic and at the right time during a trade show can have innumerable advantages. It is paramount to send a public speaker that is very competent.

Remember it is not only about selling the products and promoting your startup; ensure that you also provide information that will be valuable to your audience.

Be Responsive

It will be a waste of lots of money and time invested in a trade show event if you fail to follow up on leads.

The relationships that you will create at trade shows will just act as the beginning and will maintain the connections that you have made.