Trade Shows - What To Do As a Small Business Attending An Industry Trade Show
Each year at least one member of our business has been able to attend the trade show of trade shows, Exhibitor, in Las Vegas. With each visit we develop and refine our goals to our current needs, but also have more to see because of the sheer size of the trade show and our branches of the business are growing. This year we walked in with three goals: reconnect with our current representatives and negotiate pricing and order samples of products we like; discuss new concepts with either our current manufacturers and new companies, and find new companies and products we want to look further in to. We listed these goals in the order of importance for our specific industry, trade show exhibits and displays.
Our relationships with our manufacturers are one of the most important aspects of our business that we really work hard to maintain and if you are a starting business, meeting your manufacturers is extremely important. Concentrate on your gut feeling and pay attention to the quality of the products they are offering; this will help your company immensely. While talking with your main representative is necessary to smooth out any issues that your business had earlier this year, talking and establishing a rapport with your main contact is paramount. A small conversation face to face will actually show that you care about the person who helps you out; if you are sincere. When push comes to shove and you need an item warranteed, your day to day contact is the individual who will to go to bat for you. Because of our relationship building, we have been at the top of the list when changes come out to products that we like, we've gained better pricing that we pass along to our faithful customers and we get asked what we would like to see from the company.
Our second goal was to find the manufacturers we have done business with and talk with them about new ideas and concepts that we have seen a trend for but do not have the resources to build ourselves. So, we pitch the idea to a company that we trust, who can help create it. Our manufacturers understand that we fulfill a different target market than a lot of other vendors they work with and realize that they can make money if the design and products match up. Don't be afraid to talk with your manufacturers about products you would like to see and sell, it might be a reality. Two of our concepts have become products that are marketed to the masses with our branded image associated with it. Not bad, right?
For any company, one of their goals should be to find potential new manufacturers that have ground breaking new products or products similar to our current inventory that can beat our current pricing. We were looking for a company that could take over for one of our manufacturers that was bought out earlier this year. It is very easy to get wrapped up in a pitch of a company that is really pushing product, but go with your gut. In the end, a company must have a good product in order to survive. In our industry, there are many different manufacturers, it is finding a reputable company that will stand by you through thick and thin that makes the difference to your business and your customers. Luckily we were able to come away with a few leads of companies that are willing to work with us and let us demo a few products.
We walked away this year from Exhibitor 2014 very excited. Our old relationships became stronger realizing that our company is pulling more weight each year. The managers and colleagues we work with on a day to day basis became friends that listened to our issues and praised our ingenuity. We found brand new companies we want to do business with that have followed up with us and are flying us out to see their products, facilities and people. All in all the trade show of trade shows worked out well for us and we can't wait to be back next year.