7 Reasons To Attend Trade Shows

7 Reasons To Attend Trade Shows
Participation in trade shows demonstrates a company’s commitment to ongoing training and professional expertise.

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Can a trade show help the future of your business? Is it really worth the time and expense to attend? The daily demands of running a portable restroom company can be overwhelming at times, making it challenging to spend time planning for the future of the business. Conventions and trade shows can be just the venue to gain a fresh perspective while also proving beneficial to your company’s success. Consider the opportunities to learn, network, comparison shop, and strategize on the future — all available in one place. 

The Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo International will be held in Indianapolis, Ind., at the Indiana Convention Center Feb. 24-27. It is the largest annual event of its kind for the liquid waste industry. The Portable Sanitation Association International (PSAI) hosts two conventions annually that are specific to the portable sanitation industry. There are also a number of trade shows for the wastewater industry. 

Here are seven reasons attending a trade show is worthwhile for your business: 

1. Learning opportunities

The Pumper Show provides educational seminars within the framework of the biggest industry trade show in the country. Informative seminars and product demonstrations designed specifically for the sanitation industry provide ample opportunities to learn something new and find solutions to business challenges. Many of the seminars can earn attendees continuing education credits for participating states. The PSAI hosts the Nuts & Bolts Convention annually with seminars, roundtable discussions, and focus groups available to spark new ideas and innovative thinking for its members. 

“Roundtables have been super beneficial,” says Tom Richmond of Willy Make It? from Oregon City, Ore., who recently joined the PSAI. “The nice thing is to go and talk to others in the same business that aren’t your direct competition and to be able to get really good feedback.” 

He went on to say that it was through a roundtable discussion that he decided to join social media and set up a business page on Facebook and where he learned the value of using a smartphone for his business. “Seminars are good learning opportunities because they are specific to the industry,” Richmond says. 

2. Exposure to industry trends

Trade shows provide the perfect opportunity to comparison shop, see new products in the market, and stay informed on industry trends. Technological advancements can transform a company’s operational efficiencies, reducing workloads and operating costs, and trade show attendees are usually the first to get the detailed exposure to them. 

In addition, manufacturers often unveil new equipment choices for the first time at trade shows and send knowledgeable representatives to answer questions about the products.

With nearly all the industry’s options under one roof, it’s a great way to evaluate which possibilities are best for individual business needs. 

3. Network with peers

Trade shows make it easy to build new relationships. Where else can you network with others who share similar business challenges and successes in the sanitation industry and who are willing to share their experiences? Roundtables, seminars, and social gatherings allow attendees to cultivate relationships with industry peers. 

“Some of the most important things I’ve learned have come through the roundtable discussions,” says Eric Giffin of Cal-State Site Service Inc. “I’ve found some great innovations and value the fellowship with others in the industry. I can call people that I’ve met from all over the world to bounce ideas around.” 

4. Create relationships with suppliers

Vendors and manufacturers send their best representatives to trade shows. It’s a great chance to meet representatives and management face-to-face and the personal contact often provides an opportunity to build strategic alliances and even potential business partnerships. 

5. Competitive strategy

If your competitors are there, you should be too. If they’re not, you should be. Either way a business ensures its competitive advantage by attending trade shows for three reasons. First, to stay abreast of new product innovations that customers will appreciate. Second, by developing additional resources that can broaden the company’s capabilities to earn more business. Third, participation in trade shows demonstrates a company’s commitment to ongoing training and professional expertise. 

6. Morale booster

Trade shows can be a great deal of fun and provide a sense of purpose and vision to your organization and your employees. Participation in seminars and roundtable discussions can shorten an employee’s (or your) learning curve on new information or innovations and yield solutions that ultimately benefit the business. 

The targeted information available in seminars often spark new ideas and give focus to everyday challenges. As a side benefit, companies that invest in the education of staff help employees to feel valued and appreciated — improving company morale and productivity. Plus, everyone loves something for free, and vendors often hand out SWAG (stuff we all get) and give away prizes simply for checking out their products and services. 

7. Support the industry

A company shows support for its industry by attending and participating in trade shows. Getting involved in discussion groups, committees, and mentoring relationships helps improve the future of the industry. 

Taking time away from the daily responsibilities of one’s business to learn, network, focus, and strategize can provide a great opportunity to view the future with a new perspective. Creative suggestions from industry insiders and new ideas can transform the future of a business and prove beneficial to a company’s success. 

February 24-27 | Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo International

March 19-23 | Portable Sanitation Association International Convention & Trade Show

About the Author

Beverly Lewis runs a marketing agency, the Beverly Lewis Group, dedicated to helping small businesses with marketing solutions. Having served as the director of sales & marketing for two portable sanitation companies, her unique background combined with an expertise in marketing is well suited for the portable sanitation industry.

She believes that a company’s image is represented in every aspect of the company. Contact Beverly at beverly@beverlylewisgroup.com or visit www.beverlylewisgroup.com.


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