Growing a business can be quite the challenging task, but it can also be more rewarding than anything else you’ll ever get to do in life. Still, the first few months are the hardest, and you sometimes get this overwhelming feeling that this will never work out. It’s at times like these that you must stay strong and push through in order for your business to survive and prosper.

One of the best ways for a small business owner to grow and get more connections and leads for his business is holding a trade show or an exhibition. Yet, the trick is doing one with a small budget, and still coming out successful with enough leads for your business.

Expo floor
photo credit: Official GDC / Flickr

This is how you can do just that.

Educate yourself

You need to understand that an exhibition may just be one of the most important steps you take for the future of your business. You can meet potential buyers and clients in that one day than what you could get through traditional channels over the course of months. So, you need to do some hard work and research to understand your market because this will affect how you conduct your expo.

There’s also the fact that holding an expo is not cheap; there are plenty of expenses paid along the way, from your own time being invested in something to renting a space to accommodate your audience. So that means you have to make it count, and if the budget is tight, you can’t very well invite thousands upon thousands of people, just the key players. And this is where market studies and research come in handy.

Design

While this is a classic case of less is more, especially due to budget restraints, the design and overall layout of the expo are still points you shouldn’t neglect. People get impressed easily, so take some time to create an interesting design, with minimal budget.

The good thing is most things can be rented for your expo and then returned, to save money. So everything from exhibition stand hire to chairs can cost you much less than actually buying them.

Set goals

It’s very important to set your goals before any expo you hold for your business. What do you want out of this expo? How can you say it was a successful one? These are some of the questions you have to ask yourself, because based on that your strategy and approach for the whole thing will be determined.

Marketing and sales channels might very well have different objectives, but both still have to have one target set, which is the best interest of the company.

Osaka Kawaii at Japan Expo
photo credit: ActuaLitte / Flickr

Assign the right people

You can nail everything to the tiniest of details, from chairs to brochures, and it would all still go to waste if you don’t have the right people on the ground. Find the best of your people to speak to audiences, people who can talk, are smart and polite, and most of all those who actually like their jobs.

Don’t rush it

Your business might need the expo as soon as possible to generate leads and boost numbers, whether they’re sales or marketing or any other branch. But that doesn’t mean you should rush the expo at the expense of good planning, because you’ll have just wasted money on something that could so easily fail.

Your best strategy for an expo is good planning, which could take your expo from one place to a whole new ball game. Between choosing the right layout and doing market studies, give the process its due time.