Many small businesses wonder about the efficacy of trade shows in a market where global outreach is possible through the Internet. But trade shows have a much broader impact than just connecting customers with retailers. When a trade show is in town, the local economy gets a boost in a host of ways. When you and your small business participate in a trade show, you’re boosting your own sales possibilities, but you’re also helping to grow your local economy. And that’s good for everyone’s business.
A rising tide lifts all boats, and nothing could be more true about trade shows. Sure, the competition is there and you have to work harder and smarter to make sure your product or services are the ones that hook potential customers, but simply by contributing to the success of the trade show means more contacts and a greater presence for you in the business community.
When there’s little business activity in a town or county, you may think you’ve got it made. This is partly true, but imagine if the customer base grew because there were other options, not necessarily in your area of retail, but because there were just more places to shop. The community would earn a reputation of being a great location for retail and would draw customers from outside the community as well as from inside. Your customer base broadens just because there are more people interested in the community in which you do business.
Trade shows can bring these potential consumers into your community. When you participate in the trade show you communicate to the attendees that you are ready and able to be a vibrant contributor to the economic and social health of the community. That speaks volumes. And regardless of competition, good relationships with other business owners will help consolidate support for growing the local economy and benefiting all businesses within it.
Don’t be afraid of competition at the trade show; think of it as a way to draw more and more consumers to your town and your business. Trade shows are a win-win when you stop thinking of the pie as a limited resource and start thinking of it as something everyone can have a piece of.