How Attending a Trade Show can Improve Your Business


Arming yourself with current, accurate, and actionable information on how to lower costs and increase profits is the best way to ensure the success of your business. Luckily, there are numerous ways for the trades to obtain that information, most commonly through: 

  • Trade associations
  • Suppliers / Manufacturers
  • Media publications
  • Service providers
  • Other contractors/industry experts

If properly vetted, these can be fantastic resources to gain the knowledge you need to be more successful. The problem becomes access.  You are likely missing out on helpful information unless you actively search for it or something pops up in your email or social media feed.  Even when the info appears right before us, we likely don’t have the time to consume it. If you are like me, you flag it to return to later and then never do. 

I have attended many construction and trade-specific expos and find they are the best way to learn. The show organizers have conducted the search for you and pulled all the essential resources together under one roof. Walking a trade show floor allows you to browse all the content and potentially discover information you didn’t know existed and, therefore, wouldn’t have searched for yourself.

Being away from the office and the distractions of your day-to-day responsibilities for a dedicated block of time means you’ll be able to consume and retain more information. Plus, you can meet new people, attend fun events, and grow your network!

I know how valuable your time is, so I have put together my top five tips on getting the most value out of your experience at a trade show. 

1. Set expectations for yourself.

Before heading to the show, ask yourself what you want to learn while there. Doing this ahead of time will help ensure you leave with all your questions answered.  If you have set goals for the coming year, a trade show is a great place to get help achieving them.  Other considerations may include:

  • What are the new products on the market?
  • Are there solutions to improve efficiencies in the office and field?
  • How are other companies conducting marketing and sales? 
  • What are the emerging technologies?
  • What are some cost-saving opportunities?

Having a list of questions such as these handy will help you focus on what is essential to the specific needs of your business when you are there. 

2. Attend the Keynote

Attending the keynote is a great way to kick off your trade show experience.  The keynote speaker usually sheds light on the hot topics trending in your industry and will introduce a theme for the show as a whole.  The keynote can also be a great topic of conversation when networking with others at the show. As a bonus, you will leave the session feeling inspired!

3. Go to the Educational / Breakout Sessions 

Most shows offer educational sessions focused on a wide range of topics.  These sessions are hosted by industry experts who have often been selected out of many applicants for the high level of value their session provides.   Be prepared to take notes so you can refer to it later and bring the info back to your team. 

4. Introduce Yourself to Others

Trade shows are one of the best places to expand your network. Attending a show outside your geographic region allows you to meet other contractors who work in the same industry but aren’t competitors. Building a network of like-minded business owners and operators will provide you with people you can bounce ideas off, share insights with, and support for years to come. The social events put on by the show are a great place to make those connections. Often, suppliers and manufacturers host their events, so check their websites too.  

5. Make a Schedule

It’s easy to get sidetracked while attending a trade show.  Before you go, get on the website for the show and review everything they offer, including speakers, sessions, events, demos, and show floor hours.  Decide which offerings you want to attend and write a daily schedule. Also, look at the list of exhibitors and mark down the names and booth numbers of the ones you want to speak with while on the show floor. This will ensure you don’t miss anything of importance. 

Which Shows to Attend

The more trade-specific the show is, the more focused the information will be. Start by checking with local and national trade associations to see if they host a show.  If they don’t, they will likely recommend some worth attending. Otherwise, a simple Google search should do.  

Associations, suppliers, and manufacturers sometimes offer discounts on travel and accommodations, so look for those once you have chosen a show to attend. 

Finally, while planning your show schedule for the year, save the date for our very own ServiceTitan expo, Pantheon, coming to the Orlando Marriott World Center in Florida from September 30th to October 2nd, 2024!


ServiceTitan Certified Provider
ServiceTitan Certified Provider

Thanks for sharing the useful insights, @sdrummond! 💡