5 Reasons Trade Shows Are Worth Attending

By Jasmine Glasheen, Contributor to Retail Minded. 

We might be smack dab in the middle of a Technological Revolution, but there are some retail experiences that just can’t be replicated online. Trade shows are a prime example of one of these experiences and the exhibition industry continues to grow in revenue. Keeping this in mind, why are buyers still flocking to trade shows in high numbers to do their retail sourcing in-person? Here are 5 reasons that tradeshows are important for retailers.

#1. Education

At trade shows you can gain access to trend insights, business strategy and retailer education that you can’t get anywhere else. At events-within-events such as the Independent Retailer Conference held at the bi-annual trade show ASD Market Week, you can gain around-the-clock knowledge from industry leaders from companies that support retailers – such as Yelp, Lightspeed POS, Refund Retriever, Seller Active and more – while also hearing from industry thought leaders such as consumer anthropologists Kizer & Bender. Other trade shows that deliver education specific to retailers include NY NOW and Halloween Expo, both of which deliver applicable, real-world instruction on topics that impact modern retailers.

#2. Network in Your Industry

The retail industry is built on personal connections and networking – which is necessary in a competitive retail environment. The contacts you build at trade show networking events such as the various after-hours events offered by ASD Market Week might be able to help your company get first-access to products and the latest trends, plus they are a great place to exchange ideas and to learn how like-minded retailers orchestrate their businesses. You can also load up on photos and video for your company’s social media pages and/or website that you can stream to gain brand traction throughout the year.

#3. New Vendor Discovery

If you want to discover new vendors that you simply can’t find online, trade shows such as IGES in Tennessee and ASD Market Week are where the magic happens. Trade shows are where vendors launch new lines and new products, and one of the only places you can have hands-on experiences with inventory you’re considering sourcing for your store. In fact, Statista reports that 80 percent of trade show visitors decided to purchase a product or service because they tried it or saw a demo of it in-person – so you really can’t over-estimate the value of being exposed to unique products and putting them to the touch test right there and then… before you place an order.

#4. Scope Out the Competition

Trade shows are fertile ground for the latest and greatest ideas in the retail industry and they’re the perfect place for you to see what your competition is doing to grow their brands. Whether you attend shows to confirm for yourself that the trends you’re sourcing are on-point or you want to see who your competitors are buying from, there’s a lot you can learn by attending trade shows that can give your business a competitive edge. The Independent Retailer Conference is a great place to connect with others in you industry, as well, to rustle up a little healthy competition.

#5. Get Inspired to Excel

More than anything, attending tradeshows can help you get and stay inspired to excel. When you see the latest trends in action and interface with industry leaders (as well as your competition), it can fuel your passion for your retail business and give you the inspiration you need to succeed. With this said, attend shows to gain access to the latest inventory… but keep in mind that inventory is only a part of the reason why visiting trade shows can help your retail business achieve success. The entire experiences that trade shows offer – including education opportunities, networking and more – are all ways to help your retail store reach your goals!




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