Are Trade Shows Worth It?

Pet Trade Show

Exhibiting at trade and/or consumer shows can be expensive, time consuming and downright exhausting.  So you have to ask yourself:  is it worth all the trouble and expense.

I used to exhibit at a consumer show called Super Pet Expo .  By the time I spent $500 for booth space, rented a van, lugged all my products there, spent two and a half days of my life working the booth I stopped and asked myself — is it worth it?!

The answer is not as obvious as you might think.

While I actually lost money on my first show and broke even on subsequent shows the thing that made the whole experience worthwhile were the people I met and the contacts I made. 

It was at my first show that Mike Goldsmith from Mike’s Feed Farm approached me about drop shipping pet food for me.  I gave it a shot and it turned out to be a large percentage of my sales.

At another show I met a retail distributor and several other suppliers who become long time “partners” with me over the next several years.

What were these contacts worth to me and my business?  Well, like the Visa commercial says, “…priceless”.

So while the obvious upfront dollar returns were not there for me, the contacts that I made at EVERY show turned out to be profitable for me years beyond those weekends.

So when I have people ask me about selling pet supplies at trade shows or county fairs or flea markets I always tell them:  “Give it a try”.

If you always do the same things and never try something new, your results will never change.  More obvious words were never spoken.

One response to “Are Trade Shows Worth It?

  1. Be sure to listen to the new interview with Eric Udler, the founder of Super Pet Expo, here:

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