If you’ve been looking for small business networking events to help you get ahead in your field, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better opportunity than a small business expo or small business trade show where you can exhibit. While these events might be a little intimidating from the outside (especially if you’re not already a regular on the convention circuit, and you’re not sure where to get started), it’s definitely worth finding out how you can get in on the action.
What are the benefits of exhibiting at trade shows? Well…
#1: Meet Your Potential Clients (and Friends)
If you’ve got something to sell, you need to go where there are people looking to buy. That is a trade show’s purpose; bringing businesses together with potential clients. Everyone walking the floor at one of these expos has the potential to be your next sale, which puts you and your booth in a target-rich environment, according to EMC Advertising Gifts. 
In addition to all those potential customers, though, you can also extend your business network by meeting all the other exhibitors at a small business trade show. If you come prepared to shake hands and exchange cards, then you can make connections that could lead to solid, beneficial working relationships down the line.
#2: Targeted Leads
Even if you don’t make any sales at the trade show itself, these expos are an ideal place to collect fresh leads for you to follow up on later. As Smart Insights  points out, trade shows are targeted events that tend to draw an audience who is very interested in a particular topic. This makes it an ideal place to collect data from interested people, and to file it away for a later follow up. Make sure you have a list to collect emails to add to your newsletter and make sure you do your best to hook people’s interests. This will lead to a cascade of new business once the show is over, as at least some of those contacts make the jump to becoming customers.
#3: A Cost-Effective Marketing Solution
At the end of the day, any marketing steps you take need to balance out when it comes to your books. If it costs more money than it makes you, then it isn’t a very good marketing strategy.
That’s why these small business events are ideal, according to Business 2 Community. Pound for pound, trade shows are one of the most solid investments your business can make when it comes to reaping returns. While they are not a cheap investment (expenses for booth, rental, travel, food, lodging, etc. can all add up in a hurry), businesses who do the necessary work to make the right impression often find that making back those costs and turning a profit is far from a difficult task.
#4: You Make An Impression
It’s all too easy to get lost in the white noise of commerce in the day-to-day world. Exhibiting at a trade show or an expo, though, allows you to stand out and gives you a chance to make an impression on an audience that has pre-selected itself as interested in what you’re trying to sell.
Instead of competing with the entire world, as it can sometimes feel you have to during your day-to-day, you get a bit of a hand-up during a trade show. With less noise to compete with, you can stand up, and get people’s attention in a way that you simply can’t manage anywhere else. And that impression can last long past the initial handshake and sales pitch you gave on your first meeting.