Regardless of your profession, there are a lot of benefits to attending industry-specific trade shows. Here are four good reasons to attend a trade show:
1. Change your perspective
Oftentimes when at the same work environment, we tend to think the same way about challenges and opportunities we are faced with. Getting out of the office for a morning, an afternoon, or perhaps the entire day allows us to change our environment and thereby see our work from a different perspective. This different perspective is often helpful in coming up with ideas and solutions that we didn't see before.
2. Expand your network
When you are at a trade show with hundreds or even thousands of individuals in similar professionals, odds are pretty good you are going to expand your professional network. This could mean meeting:
- New potential employers
- New vendors
- Existing colleagues
- Former colleagues who have moved on to another organization
- New contacts who uses a similar vendor or is in a similar profession
Most trade shows have several learning opportunities such as:
- Vendor-sponsored educational workshops
- User forums and discussion panels
- Keynote speakers
If you aren’t taking advantage of opportunities to learn something new, then you are robbing yourself of future growth and career development.
4. Vendor relationships
Regardless of your industry or profession, there are likely vendors out there who can make your job easier, more efficient, or more profitable. One of the benefits of capitalism is there are people out there thinking of solutions to the kind of challenges you face every day. Two pieces of advice here from a sales professional:
- Don’t be afraid or hesitant to tell a vendor “no”. If a product or service isn’t a fit, just let them know kindly yet firmly that it’s not a fit.
- Likewise, don’t be afraid to listen to a vendor and say yes. Despite what your CFO might think, spending money is not a bad thing. In fact, spending money on the right vendor now oftentimes pays huge dividends in the future. Just be sure to do your research and spend your money with the right vendor who cares about your success as much as they care about making a sale.