Trade show tips

7 Ways to Make the Most of a Trade Show

Serena Doescher is the Content Marketing Coordinator for Beacon Funding, a leading decorated apparel equipment financing company. She is dedicated to sharing the benefits of financing with business owners through informed and insightful articles. Visit to read more of her work. She can be reached directly at

When else are you going to be in a giant room full of people and equipment related to the industry you love? Pretty much never. That’s why it’s so important to make the most of every show you attend.

1. Plan early—Once you have a trade show or two you know you’ll be able to attend, make sure to book flights, hotels, and rental cars early.

2. Check the website—Check the show's website every few weeks leading up to the show to see if there are any important updates. 

3. Set goals—To help you stay focused, set two or three goals for the show. They can revolve around networking, acquiring more equipment, or learning new skills.

4. Set a budget—This step is often overlooked but is actually one of the most important. Figure out how much you can afford to spend on the flight, hotel, and even food. If you’re attending the show with the intent to shop for new equipment, consider getting pre-approved for equipment financing. 

5. Map it out—Before the show, get your hands on an exhibitor list and a map of the show. Decide what exhibits you have to see and create a game plan. 

6. Stay organized—Take advantage of all the free stuff by grabbing a tote bag. Use a folder to hold all the papers you need to keep nearby (registration information, business cards, financing pre-approvals, etc.).

7. Enjoy the experience—Remember to have some fun, meet new people, and expand your network of industry professionals. If you’re coming from out of town, set aside a few hours to see the sights and enjoy the local attractions.

This tip appears in a longer post on the Beacon Funding blog. Click here to see the full article.