Trade shows and business conferences are powerful resources for any business. Like a community gathering or town hall meeting, a trade show is an opportunity to come together, share ideas, meet new people and build relationships with industry peers. As both an attendee and a participant, trade show attendance can also be used to greatly benefit your business. Below are just a few ways to maximize the benefits of attending industry conferences for your business.

Be Visible:
One of the simplest and most obvious benefits to industry events is the increased visibility it affords your business. With a booth or a banner, attendees can be drawn into a direct conversation with you and your business, gaining a close and informative perspective on what your business is all about. Moreover, if you offer literature or guide visitors to your website, attendees can take a closer look at your company once they have walked away from the booth. With the increased visibility of the booth, your own human connection and informative literature, you can rapidly expose your company to more potential clients while simultaneously educating them about your business.

Social Media:
A powerful way to increase the benefits and outreach of your company at an industry trade show is to have a strong social media presence. Before, during and after the event, be sure to regularly use social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to broadcast interesting and pertinent information about your company, such as where you can find the booth or any promotional items you may be offering. And at your booth, be sure to direct attendees to your social media platforms in order to boost engagement. If you can convince an attendee to follow your business on Twitter, you will have gained a potential client with whom you can regularly communicate and engage. In a way, social media can act as free advertising for you and your business.

Broaden Your Network:
The greatest benefit an industry event can offer your company is the opportunity to dramatically broaden your professional network. At these events, you can meet anyone from competitors to investors to clients to potential partners. All of these people and the information they carry can dramatically benefit your business. You can see what new projects or statistics your competitors are touting. Or you can meet another business-owner looking for a partner in your region. All of these connections and contacts can be put to good use and help strengthen your business.

Follow Up:
Once the trade event is over, your work still is not complete. In order to capitalize on any exposure your company may have gained or new contacts you may have acquired, you must follow through and be assertive. Did you increase your number of email subscribers? Send out a email thanking them for their attendance and welcoming them to your newsletter. Or did you meet a new potential investor? Don’t hesitate to reach out to him or her and set up a more formal meeting. Trade events create an incredible opportunity that you must seize upon once they are concluded.

Trade show attendance can be a real boon to your business. It can boost awareness, generate excitement and build professional networks for your business. So when you attend business conferences or industry show expos, be sure to keep these ideas in mind in order to maximize the benefits your company can gain from participating in one of these events.

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