EnMart just finished a great weekend in Nashville at the NNEP Embroidery Mart. It was a fantastic trade show and we were able to talk to a lot of people about sublimation and how it can be used. The show was really fun and very informative, and it made me realize how valuable attending a trade show can be, both from an exhibitor standpoint and from an attendee standpoint. Particularly when you’re considering a garment decoration technique like sublimation, attending a show and getting to see equipment and demonstrations and ask questions can save you a lot of time and money and anguish. No one likes to purchase equipment that doesn’t suit their business and won’t be useful. Attending a trade show can help you avoid those kinds of issues.
Although EnMart generally attends trade shows as a vendor, I’ve certainly spoken with enough attendees to get a sense of the value that attending a trade show can provide. I thought I’d remind everyone about that today by listing a few of the ways I believe trade shows provide value.
1. Trade shows let you see equipment and supplies up close and personal – Catalogs and websites are great, but nothing replaces actually holding a product in your hand and seeing it with your own eyes.
2. Trade shows allow you to talk to vendors one on one – Granted exhibitor booths can be crowded and understaffed, but almost every exhibitor will have some time where they can speak with you one on one. If you have concerns or questions or just need guidance, this one on one time is invaluable.
3. Trade shows help you sort out your requirements – Exhibitors have a vested interest in helping you find the equipment that is right for your business. They know the questions to ask that will help you determine what you need. They also know which equipment will best serve that need.
4. Trade shows also often offer classes or seminars – At the Embroidery Marts in Houston and Nashville, Sawgrass Ink did a seminar about sublimation. Other exhibitors held classes as well. The classes give you an opportunity to learn a new technique or add a profit center to your business while learning from industry experts.
5. Everything you learn at a trade show is yours to keep – When you leave a trade show you should know more than when you arrived. If you take the time to visit vendors and ask some questions, you can learn a lot for only a minimal expenditure of your time.
My thanks to everyone who saw the value in trade show attendance and stopped by to see us in Nashville last weekend. We had a great time there, and we look forward to providing more value for our current and new customers at ISS Atlanta in September.