Series Intro: The Making of a Trade Show

When we moved our web development business from Orlando to Tampa Bay, we were just starting out. We had just incorporated and become “a real business” a couple months earlier.  We knew no one. All of the contacts, friends and business associates we had were now nearly two hours away. The good news was that the slate was clean and we were ready to hit the ground running.

So I had an idea! Why not create a trade show?  Times were tough, the economy had tanked, and people were looking for new ways of doing business. They wanted ways to market their companies. Many people were starting small businesses as sidelines to supplement their income, or they’d been downsized and were starting a business instead of seeking a new job in a tough market.

Everyone was talking their Plan B. Plan A was clearly in failure for a lot of Americans. So I named the trade show “The Plan B Expo.”

The idea was to run a series of trade shows/expos over the year, each with a different focus and concentration. But where to start?

In this blog series, I will talk about the birth of the Plan B Expo, including the ways in which we succeeded and the lessons we learned from the times we failed, as well as insight into how to network more effectively for your own business. Some of the topics will include:

  • Why we created the “Women Mean Business” expo and what we learned from it
  • How to prepare properly for a trade show, as an organizer, a vendor, a sponsor or attendee
  • How to work a trade show effectively as an attendee
  • Networking vs. “Notworking”
  • Making meaningful connections

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