When you see a great trade show opportunity come up for your company, do you wait for the stars to align, or do you convince your boss to fund the trip? Of course, you should persuade them to send you to the event!

To be convincing, you need to have a well-prepared request. The more you know about the event and how it can help your company grow, the better your chances are that your boss will say yes. Below are some basic tips on how to convince your boss to attend an upcoming trade show.

Research agenda and audience

Familiarize yourself with the agenda and the types of people that will be attending the show. Conveniently, you can find most, if not all, of this information on the event’s website.

The best trade shows should align with your company’s short- and long-term goals. For example, if you know that your boss wants to increase qualified leads for your sales team, choose a trade show that exposes you to the right audience. Other details to pay attention to are the cost of the show, its location, and how many employees should attend.

Create a sample trade show exhibit

If you don’t have an exhibit, sketch a new design. On a short notice, consider portable displays or rental exhibits that are affordable and semi-customizable. If your company already has an exhibit that they use for trade shows, consider a few ways that it can be tweaked for the upcoming show.

Write out a sample agenda for what your event might look like. Divide it into Days (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3) and break each day down by early morning, mid-morning, and afternoon. What types of interactive activities might you have? Do you plan on running a contest or giveaway? What will the roles for each employee be?

Know the top three reasons for attending

Most bosses will want to know why it’s so important for you to attend a particular trade show. So, be prepared to answer this question in a clear and straightforward manner. A few suggestions include:

  • You will be exposed to hundreds or thousands of potential customers
  • You can connect with industry experts and discover the latest trends and technologies
  • You can learn from others in your industry and avoid costly and time-consuming mistakes
  • Your products and services can gain visibility in front of a highly targeted audience
  • You can check out what your competitors are doing

Trade shows are an investment, which is why bosses are often hesitant to approve them on the spot. However, trade shows remain a vital part of the marketing mix, so there are a few your company should attend each year. By doing your research and presenting your boss with the facts, you should have no problem getting a solid approval.