Construction Monkey

Construction Monkey Blog

As spring approaches so does one of the two trade show seasons.  With the economy difficult, it begs the question: Should we spend money on attending a trade show?  Just a business question my friends.  Like any other expenditure it depends on whether you can achieve more value than money you spend.  So I guess the real question is what kind of value can you get from a trade show?

Trade shows take place in some good spots (San Diego, Las Vegas, Miami, etc), but there is no business value to the location.  They are scenic, and it drives some people to travel to them, if anyone is going for location, just take a vacation. 

When heading to a trade show there are two real reasons to head to a trade show: networking and staying on top of the technology in the industry.  Networking with either prospective customers, vendors, or peers is a critical part of business.  Trade shows become one of the best ways for people with similar interests, likes, and industries to meet and share information.  Whether you are going to a AGC event or an industry specific event you need to spend every waking moment trying to network with different folks.  These folks are industry leaders like you and can help you promote your business or give you critical advice.

As far as staying on top of technology, that is why we all got in the industry.  Construction and specifically specialty subcontractors are on the leading edge of technology.  If you let a year go by without learning about the best new tricks, techniques, tools, and software out there you may be losing your edge.  Trade shows provide many avenues to get the latest technology from the vendor booths, to the speakers, and as mentioned before the networking with people at the show.

Going by the booths at a trade show becomes an exercise in who has the best swag, but for the betterment of your business spend time getting information and talking to the vendors.  They may be able to teach you something you never knew which can add to your bottom line.

Are trade shows worth it?  Only you can answer that question, but for my dollars there should be at least one show a year that can add value.  I hope for you it will be Electric West Mar 16-18 in Las Vegas as we will be there and it would be great to meet you.

About the Author

Craig Pierce

Craig Pierce has been working in the construction industry for the past 25 years helping subcontractors master their trade. Currently he is President of Atalanta Enterprises which provides consulting services to contractors And software solutions through ConstructionMonkey.com.