Startup owners have a lot on their plates, and many end up overlooking the benefits of attending a trade show. These events are incredibly important for new businesses as they boost morale, introduce you to new contacts, and generate more sales. And, trade shows are far from old school. In fact, with improved economic and job growth, the trade show industry is expected to grow 2.8% this year.

If you’re on the fence about joining a trade show, we have some information that will clear things up for you.

Get Your Startup Noticed

One of the biggest challenges that new businesses have is getting noticed. This is even more difficult if you have a limited budget. Attending a trade show event introduces you to hundreds or thousands of potential customers. Your target audience is under one roof, and at the very least, you can get your startup name noticed.

Receive Immediate Feedback

Now that your business is up and running, wouldn’t it be nice to have feedback from customers? By attending a trade show event, you can watch how customers interact with your products. Listen to their questions so that you get a deeper understanding of your target customer. Once you gain valuable insight, it can be used to improve your startup.

Build a Stronger Network

Some of the most genuine relationships are built offline. There is no substitute for in-person networking, and this is what trade shows let you do. During your attendance, talk with leads, meet other industry professionals, and expand your network. Collect contact names and reach out at the right time – they may just result in sales for your business!

Assess Your Competitors

There’s no need to fear your competitors, but you should know how your competitors are selling their products and services. What can you learn from them? What do you plan to do differently? What niche can you fill? Also, it’s a good idea to be at some of the same shows as your competitors so that customers can view you as an alternative option.

Avoid Cold Calling

People really, really don’t like cold calling. It can turn them off from your new business, and cause you to waste valuable time. Put your resources to good use by attending a trade show and meeting people in person. You won’t have to push your products on people who aren’t interested or have your spirits crushed when people hang up on you. In case you didn’t know, over 200 million people are on the Do Not Call List.

Trade shows can be expensive, but they offer incredible value for your time. In a competitive market where brands are vying for attention, it’s important to position your startup as a thought leader and innovator. Before long, more people will recognize your brand and be willing to do business.