A shrewd approach to attending security trade shows can make the investment of time and money pay of

When you stop and consider what goes on at a security trade show, you might think that only the exhibitors and show management are working during the event. However, you’d only be half right. Thousands of your fellow security professionals (and competitors!) would be there working as well. Why? Because they’ve discovered ways to turn the time and expense of attending a trade show into an investment that pays ongoing dividends. With a little planning and forethought, you can do the same.

Trade Show Benefits Outweigh the Costs

As you would question any investment you might make, ask yourself the same sort of questions regarding attending a security industry trade show. Foremost in your mind should be, “What is my exposure and what could I expect as a return on my investment?” The answer is easy. By planning ahead, the cost of travel and lodging for many security shows within the United States is nominal. The possible benefits to your company are staggering.

Company Chiefs Should Be Primary Attendees

Who should attend a security show? The answer may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many business owners believe they do not have the time to attend themselves and send their least-senior (least expensive) employee with vague instructions to “pick up some literature.” You can imagine the value of the results in such a case.

Look Beyond Events in Your Own Backyard

If your business is within three miles to 500 hundred miles of a major industry event, the low cost of travel may make attending it a no-brainer. Besides, at those distances, you can also expect to meet face to face with your own suppliers.

Strategically Map Out Your Show Floor Attack

I’ve already mentioned the value of seminars available at security events, but they are only one of the three most valuable areas of interest available to you. The second, and most obvious, is the trade floor itself. You would be surprised how few people know how to work the trade floor.

Networking, Learning From Peers Are Priceless

So, is that all there is to it then? Not quite. You haven’t even begun to work the most potentially lucrative opportunity at a security trade show, your fellow attendees.

Larry Welty is a freelance writer with 25 years of management experience in business, ranging from international corporations serving Fortune 1,000 clients to local retail/service operations. He can be E-mailed at [email protected].

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