Face-to-Face Marketing: Attending Expos, Festivals and Trade Shows

Posted by Nick Pizzolato on Tue, May 19, 2015 @ 01:34 PM

Face-to-Face Marketing: Attending Expos, Festivals and Trade Shows | Wicked Local Media Solutions

There are a lot of ways to advertise your business to the community. You can advertise in the paper, online, or start an email marketing campaign. You can create text ads on search engines or send out direct mail advertising. All of these methods require you to create content to draw attention to your small business. However, it’s not always easy to capture what services your business provides in just a few sentences. Sometimes selling your business requires you to go out and engage with your community.

There’s no better person to sell your business than you. You’re the one who discovered a need in an area and believed that you had the knowledge to fill that void. You’ve created the business plan. You’ve thought of the strategy. You are your business.

So how can you introduce yourself and your business to a large amount of people at once? One way for you to create buzz about your business is to be represented at local business expos, career fairs or other community events.

These functions allow you to advertise your business directly to consumers. This is your opportunity to start a dialogue with potential customers who are interested in what you have to offer. Find out what their needs are and explain to them why your products and services are a great fit.

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They are also a great place to network with other local businesses. Introduce yourself and your business to try and build relationships with other small business owners in the community. Maybe there’s a way for your businesses to work together or at the very least make connections and build up a list of professional references to use for future events or collaborations.

Not every fair or expo is going to be right for you business, so you want to be selective about which ones you participate in. Also, not every event is going to be the same. There are going to be different audiences who are going to be looking for different solutions to problems. Make sure you have the proper material for each type of event.

If you go to a career fair, be in a position to share materials about what positions you are looking to fill. Bring descriptions of vacant or soon to be available jobs. Be ready to talk about what the responsibilities of the jobs are and how they fit into the structure of the business. Bring business cards and job applications so that you can start finding the right candidates as soon as possible.

If you go to a business expo or trade show, be prepared to talk to consumers and other vendors about the type of business you have. Have handouts ready to give to visitors that pass by. Introduce yourself to as many people as possible. According to Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 72% of visitors say that trade shows influence buying decisions.

Finally, a lot of communities have fairs or festivals and actively look for local businesses to be a part of the event. You will be able to communicate with your customers personally. These festivities are one of the best opportunities you will have to meet  your neighbors. Inform them of where your business is and how you can assist them with their problems. Hand out coupons and other promotional items to help make consumers aware of your business.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a career fair, business expo or community festival, including your business in any of these events is going to be worth your time. Not only do you get to engage with peers, consumers and other members of the public, but you also get to spread your brand. With every conversation you have, you make your business more than just a logo image and a mission statement. It becomes a part of the community.

Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at

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Tags: Small Business, Business Networking, Marketing