Five Reasons Why You Should Attend a Trade Show

Having just returned from Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas (and while the event is still fresh in my mind), I like to go over the five reasons why you should try to make it to an industry trade show. With travel, hotel, food, etc., attending a major trade show can be an expensive affair but the pay off is more than worth it.

1 – You Will Meet Some Great People

The networking opportunities at a major show like Affiliate Summit is second to none and it’s the main reason I attend a trade show. No matter what anyone else says, you still can not beat face to face networking.

Pretty much everyone who is connected to the industry is there. Have you been wondering why a certain affiliate network keeps rejecting your application? Just go to their booth and ask them. Chances are the affiliate manager will get you approved right there on the spot. When you attend a trade show, the network takes you a lot more seriously because you’ve made the investment to be there.

I’ve meet many great people at the trade shows. Some have turned into lifelong friendships. You will form some great friendships as well when you attend your next show.

2 – You Will Learn a Lot

In addition to the amazing networking, a big show has tons of individual and panel sessions where experts in the industry can teach you the tips and tricks of the game. Often times, the hard part is deciding which sessions to attend. I know I ran into that problem during Affiliate Summit. It’s a good thing ASW records all the session for attendee to view at a later date.

3 – You Will Have Tons of Blog Content

Trade shows are a fantastic source of new blog content. When I’m at a show, I have no problems finding stuff to write about because there is always something to the write about. The problem is trying to keep from overwhelming the readers with too much content! I limited myself to four posts per day during ASW but I could have easily done ten.

Generally speaking, the more posts you make, the higher your traffic – to a point. I noticed a traffic increase during Affiliate Summit. However, I am not sure if this was because of the show or because of my increased posting frequency. Most likely, it was a combination of both.

When Engadget attended the Consumer Electronic Show, they pumped out over 100 CES related articles during the four days the show ran and this was in addition to the normal articles they post everyday. Their traffic was also significantly higher during the show.

4 – It’s Tax Deductible

If you run your blog as a business (and you should if you’re not), a trip to a major trade show is considered a business expense and therefore tax deductible. This tax deductibility of also the reason many show are held in exotic locations. Who wouldn’t want to go to Las Vegas or some other sunny place with the help of the IRS? However, you should see your tax adviser before trying to write off anything. There are rules on what you can and can not write off and a tax advisor will be able to keep you out of trouble.

5 – It’s One Big Party

Share A Sale Party

More than a few people commented that I went to Affiliate Summit just to party. Well, it’s true. Affiliate Summit is one big party! Most trade shows are. The best networking are done at the parties so you should try to attend as many as possible. Just keep your drinking to a level where you’ll remember what happened the night before and you’ll do fine.


47 thoughts on “Five Reasons Why You Should Attend a Trade Show”

  1. Donny Gamble says:

    I plan to make it to at least 6 or 7 networking events this year because it is well worth the time and investment. The people and relationships that you build at these events are invaluable. Who doesn’t want to meet great people like John Chow.

    1. Certainly these kind of events also helps you to see the new things around you.

      Though blog or website provide you full information but human touch is missing there.

      1. d3so says:

        I agree. I need to make it to at least one event this year.

        1. D3so,

          You are going to make it to one I hope because you keep saying you want to go and then nothing happens.

          I think that your age restriction is about to go too. So no more real excuses.

    2. PPC Ian says:

      Wow! Donny that’s a lot of events. I agree with your points, and hope to make it to 4-5 events this year.

      1. would love to know the names of those 4 – 5 events.

        Please share here.

        1. PPC Ian says:

          For sure! Here ‘ya go… The first 4 are for sure, and I’m thinking about the last one (waiting for dates to be released)…
          SMX West San Jose
          SMX Advanced Seattle
          SES San Francisco
          ad:tech San Francisco
          Thinking about Blog World Las Vegas too!

    3. Kirk Taylor says:

      Donny, great to connect with you. Hopefully next time I’ll have more energy and not be recovering from a Kickbut cold!

      1. Dan Lew says:

        I will try and attend an event this year, I hope to meet some of you guys there!

        1. PPC Ian says:

          Dan, likewise. Please let us know which event(s) you plan on attending!

          1. Dan and PPC Ian,

            Planning to attend at least one event per year is good. I’d like to know which one you’ll pick. There’s no shortage of them. Attending as Dot Com Pho is very worthwhile too if you don’t want to go to big events all the time.

    4. Kirk Taylor says:

      Donny, it was great to connect with you. I hope to see you at the other events as well.

  2. Lakhyajyoti says:

    Attending a trade show is helpful.This is the place where we can meet some great people and can make friendship with them

    1. Also you will be able to see what is the new thing in the market …

      You can clear your query directly face to face from the respective blogger.

      After meeting with them personally they will start taking your comments and view more seriously.

      1. PPC Ian says:

        These are all great points. Once you meet someone in person, it’s much more likely you’ll build a bond with them that will turn into a powerful business deal. 🙂

        1. Glad that you like points Ian.

          1. Hey John,

            I’m so glad you made this post because I’ve been blogging about networking at live events for a while now.

            People do have the intention to go but all kinds of real or imagined excuses keep preventing a lot of them from making it to at least one event per year..

            It is a big investment of time and money but as you say it’s well worth it.

  3. Going to meet new people will be my main reason..I love to pick the brains of other marketers who share the same industry as me..plus I will love to party also..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    1. so far how many events you attended and which one was your favourite.

  4. Vee Sweeney says:

    You’re right, nothing can replace face to face networking and getting to place a face to a name. It’s a good way to make yourself and your blog stand out. The only issue I have is that it can get a little redundant if you are attending the same types of conferences over and over again throughout the year. Due to that, I say choose wisely and choose the ones that can be the most beneficial.

    1. Kirk Taylor says:

      Redundant in this industry? Then you’re not doing something right because you can’t not gain new knowledge when you plan a strategy at each event.

      1. What you do at an event is very important. Being shy and not taking the initiative can make you feel lonely even when surrounded by all these people.

        On the other hand being overbearing won’t make you friends with many people either.

  5. Navya says:

    I”m so glad to see this post John! I’m a newbie to this Affiliate Marketing.. You have clearly mentioned the importance of attending a trade show, as a newbie I think this will obviously help to improve my contacts with all the affiliate managers!! Thanks for the information….

  6. Allen Walker says:

    Another great reason to attend a trade show, it gets you some fresh air and pushes you out of the home office. 😛

  7. Nikmaya J says:

    I imagine how wonderful it if I can join there, but still a hope and never come true. Thanks John for tell me about this.

  8. Harshad says:

    A couple of the networks did keep on rejecting my application. I got in after meeting them at Affiliate Summit. Also, posting frequently is so true… I always see a spike in my blog traffic when I post often.

  9. Does sound like a blast but its a little tricky for me to make it all the way across the pond for a summit 🙁

  10. Simon Dodd says:

    Hey John,

    I only managed to get to two events last year and they were both amazing, led to some great new business connections and nearly a liver transplant!! I hope to be able to get to more this year and without quite so much excess!!

    Great post as usual!

    Simon

  11. Yea, I knew you’d admit that the real reason you go is just to party. Ha!

    1. If you are talking to John then I think that you are either kidding or you are mistaken.

      I interviewed John right after he came back from the Affiliate Summit West and what he said may surprise you.

      You can see the video on my blog or search on YouTube for John Chow Networking and you’ll find it.

  12. fas says:

    You have outlined the positives, now what about the negatives?

    1. On balance there are really no negatives.

      But everything costs either time or money. Attending events like this costs both but it’s an investment.

    2. Kirk Taylor says:

      About the only way you would bring a negative back is going and then not listening or paying attention to anything that was happening.

  13. Ethan says:

    All you peasants need to attend Affiliate Summit West.

    You don’t need to attend 6 or 7 shows. ASW is the only one you need.

    I made over 100 connections over a 3 day day event. You learn secret traffic sources, exclusive offers etc.

    Things ppl will never share on blogs or forums.

    Sucks to be ppl who didn’t attend ASW. You got left behind.

    1. Kirk Taylor says:

      Not sure that’s great advice from you Ethan. Have you attended any other shows?

      I’m sure that people like John would disagree, after all it seems that he attends quite a few other events each year as well.

    2. Syed Balkhi says:

      LMAO … I have attended tons of events. Affiliate Summit is a great event, but you can’t just attend ONE. You need to attend Blog World Expo (to meet tons of bloggers)…

      Tons of other events depending on the niche you are in.

  14. ikki says:

    big party and beautiful girls

  15. Paolo Volpi says:

    They are worth attending. I find it’s a different feeling to actually “see” it live rather just reading a post

  16. That is one thing that I definitely don’t do is a lot of socializing at events. Maybe one day I will get around to it. I know it would help, but I am just too lazy to do it. Plus I have this medical condition where I break out in hives–that makes me not as social.

    But right now I am an introverted recluse. I do notice that most of the big bloggers (John, Darren, Shoe) are always marketing themselves and attending these types of events.

    So I think it could absolutely help you to make good web connections, increase your blog traffic, and more.

  17. Yeah, I’m hooked now. I’ve already made some incredible friendships in the two events I’ve been to in the past 2 months. I’ll be around!

  18. GTA 5 says:

    I would love to join there, I’m thinking about going there pretty soon. Thanks John for this nice post, i’ll bookmark it!

  19. nintendo 3ds says:

    Well John,

    I have my personal three favorites from the five that you’ve listed:
    First one is ‘You Will Meet Some Great People’, second one is ‘Tons of Blog Content’ and the third one is that it’s a ‘one big party’

    Good post John

    Thank You

  20. The trade shows are quite different from the normal events, as the parties conducted here are larger and better. We would surely have a great time at least there.

  21. Neon SRT4 says:

    Nice Article, But Trade Shows are Pretty Different from Other Events.

  22. You are definitely right. You get to meet people that are in the same business as you. Making connections is important for anyone that is involved in Marketing or Business affairs. Wish I could attent the Affiliate Summit, I may get a run at it next year.

  23. Trade shows are great if you make them productive……………..if you just want to get out of the house and party that works too. It’s always nice to talk with people who are rowing the same boat that you are.

    1. yes, the keyword here is ‘ productice ‘. Anyone that is planning an event or a party, he wants people to remember it when it’s done.

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