What Can Your Small Business Get From Conferences and Trade Shows?

small business conferences and trade shows

In the corporate world, it seems like everyone is always jetting off to conferences and trade shows. They stay in swanky hotels, expense their steak and lobster dinners and come home laden with swag bags, samples and enough business cards to wallpaper an average-sized master bedroom.

However, as a small business owner, you are not a part of the corporate world — yet — and there’s no C-level executive paying your tab to take part in these events. If you decide to attend a conference or trade show, everything from travel to admission to daily expenses is on your dime. That means it’s less “steak and lobster” and more “Steak ‘n Shake.” Add in the very real cost of time away from your small business, and your attendance can seem like a losing proposition.

There’s no denying that these events can be expensive and time-consuming. But is there a payoff that would make attending worth it?

If you’re on the fence, here are some things you stand to gain from making an appearance.


Conferences and trade shows can help you put your small business on a bigger map. Because larger events are attended by people far and wide, there are plenty of new faces in the crowd — most of whom have never heard of you and what you do.

If you choose to be an exhibitor, you should have plenty of potential customers stopping by your booth to hear about and/or sample your wares. But even if you don’t have the budget to shell out for exhibition space, there’s nothing saying you can’t talk up your small business to the people you meet along the way. They might not be in a position to buy right now, but if you plant the seed and water it well enough, you’ll be on their radar.

New Connections

Small businesses like yours need a big network, and there’s no better place to find like-minded individuals than an industry-specific conference or trade show. That hotel ballroom or exhibition center is filled with people just like you — people with the same passion, problems and potential solutions.

There is no room for wallflowers here. To get the most bang for your buck, you must put yourself out there. Be prepared to shake hands, trade business cards and foster new, mutually-beneficial connections with other small business owners!


From keynote speakers to breakout sessions to the personal stories you’ll hear over coffee in the lobby, there is plenty to learn at these events. You might start the morning off with an hourlong session on effective marketing strategies and close the day out with a half-day symposium on vendor relations.

You’ll hear from experts in the field — people who have been where you are and crawled their way to the top, grasping for every inch. You’ll learn tips and tricks from industry leaders and have the chance to ask them your questions. Bring a notepad — you’re going to need it!


One of the coolest things about conferences and trade shows is that you get to see what others are doing with their small businesses. Whether it’s a new spin on a product or service, an innovative way to market or new technology to make your life easier, inspiration is everywhere at these events.

Take time to really look at what’s being showcased. Watch the demonstrations. Sample the wares. Start a dialogue with the exhibitioners. When it’s time to return home, you’ll be armed with plenty of new ideas to implement!

Are You Ready to Invest in Your Small Business’s Future?

Conferences and trade shows don’t generally come cheap, and it’s true that you’ll only get out of it what you put it. But for small business owners willing to put in the time, money and effort, attending one is a great way to invest in your small business’s future!

From marketing to design to ideation and beyond, Mischa Communications is your one-stop shop for all your small business’s needs. How can we make your life easier?