There are so many tradeshows in every single industry. How do you know which trade show will be worth the investment? These days trade shows cost in the ballpark of $3000-5000 just to exhibit at your booth and that doesn’t include the cost to ship your goods, renting some accessories for your booth, travel, hotel, food, etc. So, here are some tips on how to find the right shows for your product debut:
1. Go to a search engine and find out which shows are within your industry. For example for Moisture Jamzz, I would search beauty trade shows. Then for each show that you find, go to their website and they usually always have a list of exhibitors. See if this lists the companies that you fit in with and whose products are sold in the stores where you hope to sell your products.
2. You could reach out to a non-competing small biz owner listed on the exhibitor list to ask about the show. Just call or email the company saying that you are considering exhibiting at the show and you wanted to hear their experience with the show. Many times people are happy to talk about shows, as long as you are not a competitor.
3. Ask local store owners (the kind that would carry your product) which shows they attend to find new products.
4. Sometimes the trade show website will list the buyers that attend the show, if you see all of the chain store names that you have been dreaming of, this may be a good choice. There are no guarantees though, that the buyer will stop at your booth. You could also call the buyers of choice and ask if they will be attending that show this season and set an appointment.
5. Stop by your local Merchandie Mart building, the ones that have the permanent showrooms. Visit www.merchandiemartproperties.com
You can also ask to “walk” a show befor eyou exhibit. For example, as you are just starting out and not ready for a show yet, that’s a good time to “walk” a show to get a sense of how the shows work.
Shows can be unbelievably wonderful or an unbelievable drain. But if your product fills a void in the marketplace and you’ve done your research about the show and protected your intellectual property interests before exhibiting, they are a great way to introudce your line to the marketplace.
Seventeen years after my first trade show, I still love exhibiting at them. I’ve made terrific friends from the shows over the years and I’ve gotten incredible clients, I’ve also wasted some money. But overall, if you pick the show that’s specifically geared toward your audience (i.e the specialty foods show for your new organic, gourmet chocolate line), you will likely be making a smart investment.
Enjoy the show!