Ten Reasons To Attend Trade Shows

Whether you are a retailer or a wholesaler, there are many advantages to attending trade shows. While cost is of course an issue since you typically will have to travel to attend these shows and pay for registration fees (though some retailers attend for free depending on the show), there are many reasons to participate in trade shows that include gaining valuable experience, knowledge, product exposure and more.

In no particular order, the below points are valuable reasons to consider attending trade shows.

1. Gain knowledge and exposure to new trends, products and resources that are available for your retail business or wholesale company. This is a great way to learn about what’s hot, what’s fading and what your company needs to have or do right now.

2. Stimulate new ideas and creative ways to support your business despite the economy, past seasons and more. Where you will gain this knowledge is endless – your competition at the show, your general experience at the show and even your participation at the show will make an impact.

3. Meet other retailers and vendors who you can lean on, learn from and possibly gain business from that you would not have had the chance to meet had you not attended that trade show.

4. Learn what your competition is up to without having to go to great lengths since their business information will be easily accessible. Ask yourself how do you compare to your competition and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses to best support your business.

5. Expose yourself to the press attending the trade shows so they know about your business – retail or wholesale. Make sure your business stands out so that they will remember you.

6. Generate leads for strategic alliances and most importantly, potential customers. Collect business cards, refer to the directory and use all other outlets provided to you during the show to create a list of contacts for your files – and your business outreach.

7. Participate in educational seminars, networking events and surveys that only take place at trade shows and will expose you to new people, new business and new ways of thinking for your business success.

8. Get answers right away, whether from a vendor or a retailer, since trade shows allow for immediate communication and easy, accessible outlets of exposure for both vendors and retailers.

9. Become educated on your industry so that you can better support your clients and customers by utilizing all the resources trade shows offer.

10. Have fun. Yes – have fun. Nothing gives a business owner more energy than a good time while working to keep them motivated to want to work more!


  • Kathlyn
    August 10, 2009

    These are some great points – many of which I didn’t consider. I am planning now for my first trade show participation and now have even more to look forward to and plan for. Thanks! Great blog as usual!

  • Melissa
    August 11, 2009

    I represent a new line of award winning products; wow baby bibs and burp cloths.
    For a small company ( ~ 1yr old) currently with a limited market share,
    (btw: we are trying to grow our market)
    would attending a trade show, specifically ABC kids trade show be beneficial.

    • Nicole Reyhle
      August 11, 2009

      The ABC Kids show is an impressive show that will introduce you to retailers and your competition, as well. In addition, attending can be a valubable experience in many ways (as discussed in the article above). If you are prepared, I think attending can certainly be to your advantage! Good luck!

  • Doug Noftall
    August 11, 2009

    Great list of reasons. I host seminars on how to get better results and we often speak of 4 main reasons to attend shows: leads / sales, market share / positioning, branding and relationship building. This list expands our vision. Thanks!

    • Nicole Reyhle
      August 13, 2009

      Doug, I am happy to hear our list can help expand your own great list! Trade shows are extremely valuable and depending on each unique business’ goals, there are even MORE reasons to attend certain trade shows!

      Thanks for your feedback.

  • J
    January 11, 2010

    Great article. I attended the magic/project/pool shows last year and it was an eye opening experience!

    I was curious if you’ve heard any feedback on the Focus show in LA? It is geared toward emerging lines/designers. I’m interested in it but haven’t been able to find any feedback/reviews on the show.

  • KMG Company
    January 25, 2010

    I think this is an invaluable suggestions. So many times vendors create products for their customers but never get to see how they actually use them. Going to a trade show for a display vendor you will get to see how they setup your product, what issues they had and how they worked around them as well as what they liked. Not doing this would be like a car maker who never drove a car. It’s pretty vital, thanks for the post.

  • Sarah
    May 3, 2012

    11. Travel to new places! 🙂

    • Nicole Reyhle
      May 12, 2012

      Fantastic reason, absolutely! Retail is all about a total lifestyle!

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