Trade shows and exhibitions are fantastic ways to improve your exposure and showcase new products. However, if you’re a small business it can sometimes feel pointless because the amount of money and the time you spend setting it up might not pay off. Like many choices in business, it’s a risk, Pone that could set you back weeks or even months. However, trade shows are one of the few choices in your business’s lifespan that should rarely ever get a “no”, and here’s why.

You don’t have to run a booth to attend a trade show

Many people assume that attending a trade show means you have to run a booth, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Just because you attend a trade show, it doesn’t mean you need to try and sell a product. You can use it for purely networking, you can scout out the competition and you can even use it to catch up with business friends.

It’s understandable that people think a trade show booth display and renting a space to showcase your products can be expensive and they’re right to think so. However, advertising your products at a trade show can be cheaper than you’d think if you plan ahead.

Trade shows offer you a chance to network with others

Trade shows offer a fantastic way for people to network. You can speak to investors, directly to your consumers or even catch up with fans of your products. There will be many new faces to see and people to meet, and part of your digital marketing strategy should involve expanding your online presence. There’s no better way to spread your brand over the internet than to appear in a place where there is plenty of media coverage, so give it a shot and make an appearance.

Of course, you’re going to need great social skills, and you need to be approachable if you want to network at a business event. This should come naturally as a leader, but if you ever need help, there are plenty of online lessons that will give you the basics of how to represent your business in public.

Learn what’s working or failing in the industry

Lastly, attending a trade show is a great way to keep up with the industry. Trade shows are populated with businesses that are showing off their latest technology and ideas. If you see a fresh new idea being hailed as the next big thing in tech, then it’s your opportunity to learn more about it, see what makes the company work, and how you can improve on their ideas to use in your own products.

You can also get to see what doesn’t work. If you bring your products to a trade show and get almost no attention, then there’s a good chance your products won’t make it when they’re officially released, making trade shows a great way to gauge interest in new ideas.