Whether you are a retailer or a wholesaler, there are many advantages to attending an exhibition. While cost is of course an issue since you typically will have to travel to attend these shows and possibly pay for registration fees (though some retailers attend for free depending on the show), there are many reasons to participate in trade shows that include gaining valuable experience, knowledge, product exposure and more. In no particular order, the below points are valuable reasons to consider attending trade shows.

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1. Gain knowledge and exposure to new trends, products and resources that are available for your retail business or wholesale company. This is a great way to learn about what’s hot, what’s fading and what your company needs to have or do right now.

2. Stimulate new ideas and creative ways to support your business despite the economy, past seasons and more. Where you will gain this knowledge is endless – your competition at the show, your general experience at the show and even your participation at the show will make an impact.

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3. Meet other retailers and vendors who you can lean on, learn from and possibly gain business from that you would not have had the chance to meet had you not attended that trade show.

4. Learn what your competition is up to without having to go to great lengths since their business information will be easily accessible. Ask yourself how do you compare to your competition and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses to best support your business

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5. Expose yourself to the press attending the trade shows so they know about your business – retail or wholesale. Make sure your business stands out so that they will remember you.

6. Generate leads for strategic alliances and most importantly, potential customers. Collect business cards, refer to the directory and use all other outlets provided to you during the show to create a list of contacts for your files – and your business outreach.#

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7. Participate in educational seminars, networking events and surveys that only take place at trade shows and will expose you to new people, new business and new ways of thinking for your business success.

8. Get answers right away, whether from a vendor or a retailer, since trade shows allow for immediate communication and easy, accessible outlets of exposure for both vendors and retailers.

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9. Become educated on your industry so that you can better support your clients and customers by utilizing all the resources trade shows offer.

10. Have fun. Yes – have fun. Nothing gives a business owner more energy than a good time while working to keep them motivated to want to work more!