We recently returned from our annual visit to Las Vegas, where PDRA once again sponsored the Paint & Accessories Show at the National Hardware Show® from May 5-7. In addition to giving us a change of scenery and some time away from the office, it reinforced just how valuable some time a trade show can be.
Over the course of three days, we had an opportunity to check out some innovative new paint products, catch up on the hottest industry trends and make some amazing new connections. And we did it all in the name of improving our organization and service for you – our members.
But it’s not only international industry associations that can benefit from industry trade shows; whether you’re a thriving paint store in a big city or a mom-and-pop shop in a small community, trade shows are one of the best investments a small business can make.
Here are five reasons a trade show should be on every independent retailer’s calendar.
Networking. In addition to offering a huge and accessible advertising and marketing platform, trade shows are a fantastic way to network with other professionals in your industry. Not only do trade shows give you an opportunity to meet and establish rapport with vendors and potential customers, but the various presentations will also help you connect with industry experts. As an added bonus, you also get to scope out the competition and identify what they might be doing better than you.
Knowledge and expertise. Because trade shows attract wide range of visitors in the paint and decorating industry, attending them gives you the opportunity to gain knowledge on everything from growing trends to hot products and valuable resources. You’ll leave feeling inspired, creative and ready to renew your store and impress your customers with all of your new tips, tricks and suggestions for improving and beautifying their homes.
Image. Since they give you a wealth of information about the latest products and trends, attending trade shows not only provides you with expertise, but adds to your voice of authority in your industry. Trade shows are a sort of who’s who in the world of business, and your mere presence can establish your company as a leader. And If clients and customers know how dedicated you are to education, they’ll be more inclined to trust you over the competition (even if their prices are lower than yours!). And if you’re attending a trade show, don’t forget to let your social media followers know!
Professional development. One of the benefits of being a small business owner is having the freedom and opportunity to educate employees on everything there is to know about the industry. Because of the great deal of information at trade shows – from the various seminars to the countless product launches – they’re the perfect setting for professional development. Having a couple colleagues attend trade shows with you is also another fantastic way to establish expertise in your area, because having two or three highly knowledgeable salespeople working in the store is always better than one.
Fun! While having a booth at a trade show is a lot of work, it can’t be all work and no play. Packing a suitcase and getting out of your hometown for a few days is a fun experience and helps establish a healthier and happier work/life balance. Trade shows also give you something to look forward to every year and helps to kindle your passion for paint, decorating and business.