Over the last few weeks I have been involved with two trade shows standing on both sides of the table. The first one was Magic in Las Vegas for www.lindseymoceri.com. A trade show of that size was new to me. We were going from booth to booth looking for new lines for Lindsey to carry on her site. Overwhelming is a good way to put it. There were people, booths, and clothes as far as the eye could see in two separate convention centers. The second one was this past weekend for the home show for Moceri Construction, www.mocericonstruction.com. This time I was the one in the booth waiting for people to come by. I have been doing this one for years, so it was nothing new, but it did get me thinking about the value of these shows.
There is no doubt that both were valuable for me but not necessarily how I expected. Yes, at Magic we found some new lines and yes at the home show I talked to people who want to build. Both of those are the main reasons and without those results the time and money would be questionable. Once I had time to step back and reflect there were two other elements I took away.
The first was the connections. At both shows I made connections that I did not consider making going in. Making good connections is invaluable because you never know where they will take you. It could lead to business, collaboration, or something you can’t even imagine. The second take away is knowledge. I learned so much at Magic it may end up being another blog but at the home show even though I have been there tons of times there is always something new to learn. From new products to new subcontractors it all give me something more I can offer my customers.
I have never been a huge fan of trade shows, but they are growing on me as I find value in less obvious places. As I look to grow my current businesses and dive into other ventures I am going to integrate more trade shows into the process. Have you had success with trade shows?