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Attending trade shows

How do I decide whether to exhibit my business at a trade show? 
The classic consideration whether to attend and exhibit at an industry trade show is identifying the total expense involved (including travel, exhibit expense and lost opportunity at home) and comparing that to your best efforts to project possible business opportunities that could result.

Exhibiting at these events can be very expensive and it isn't always the best way to make contact with your prospects. Here are two customer-based criteria for deciding:

- If your prospects and customers are the exhibitors at the trade show, go as an attendee, not an exhibitor, because you won't be able to walk the floor and meet them.

- If your prospects are the attendees, then it does make sense to exhibit so that they can visit your booth.

It's a good practice to go to an event the first time as an attendee to evaluate it. 
Brain Trust contributor: Author of Marketing Creative Services On-line, Self-Promotion On-line and her newest, Stop Pushing Me Around
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