If you have an invention idea or represent a business that is looking for new innovative products, you should be attending invention trade shows regularly. For inventors, or exhibitors, trade shows give you the chance to reach potential investors and licensing companies as well as network with your peers while spreading the word about your invention. Business representatives, or attendees, can benefit from attending trade shows because they can make connections with inventors and find inventions in their industry they may want to license or invest in. Checking out invention trade shows can be beneficial to both groups of people for many reasons.
Meeting with people face-to-face is the ultimate reason to attend or exhibit at invention trade shows. You can send emails and make phone calls all day, but it is proven face-to-face interaction is always more rewarding. The National Hardware Show, for example, typically has around 27,000 attendees and thousands of exhibitors, so the networking opportunities are endless. Many invention trade shows have meet and greets during the day and cocktail parties at night to encourage interaction between inventors and business representatives.
2. Media Exposure
Although media exposure is never guaranteed, many journalists and bloggers are interested in getting the scoop on hot new products from inventors and businesspeople alike. Looking alive and alert in an interesting booth and engaging everyone who stops by is a good strategy to attract people from the media. The boost of exposure from a media mention could be the push you need to attract investors or take the next step with your new product. Be sure to have your 30-second elevator speech prepared in case you are asked to participate in an interview.
3. Inspiration from the Competition
Invention trade shows are great places to derive inspiration from others. When walking the floor, an inventor may notice a marketing tactic they could adapt and use for their own product. At a networking event, an exhibitor may hear about a new manufacturer with surprisingly low costs. Attendees can even benefit from this. At a cocktail hour, one businessperson may share a tactic he/she uses to find new products while overhearing a conversation about an innovative customer relationship management (CRM) software. Your competition has different experiences and ideas and you can draw inspiration from their strategies and tactics.
4. Branding Opportunities
Exhibiting or attending a trade show gives you a chance to enhance your brand reputation through social media, advertising, and reputation. Most invention trade shows have event hashtags and you can build up your brand by utilizing those hashtags, taking pictures, and engaging potential customers and other people at the trade show. Check out INPEX and the #INPEX2014 tag on Twitter for examples of brand engagement. Advertising in the trade show program can also increase awareness about your brand. Invention trade shows are respected events, and you will stand out in your industry if you are known in the trade show circuit.
If you attend an invention trade show, you are sure to walk away from the experience with more knowledge of your industry, the invention industry, and technology. Many of the inventors showcasing their products will be using the latest and greatest tools and there are sure to be businesses in attendance with the newest technology. At CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, a crowd of over 140,000 examines the most cutting edge electronics and technology. They are exposed to the future of trending tech products before the general population and are able to take this education back to their offices.
Attending an invention trade show is immensely helpful whether you are an inventor or a business representative who is interested in investing in or licensing a new invention. There are countless opportunities for networking, media exposure, inspiration, branding, and education. What invention trade shows or showcases have you attended?