Attending the Right Trade
Show to License Your Invention
By Paul Niemann, President
of Market Launchers
I am sold on
attending trade shows when you’re in the process of launching a new
product. There are several main benefits of attending trade shows in
your industry, which I learned again first-hand when I attended a
trade show last week for one of my products, which I managed to find a
After speaking with
Frank West a couple weeks ago and hearing him explain how he met his
future licensee by attending a trade show, I thought this would be a
good time to talk about trade shows again.
Attending at a trade
show gives you at least 3 main benefits:
It allows you to meet with representatives from many companies
at once, rather than flying all over the country otherwise. Plus, you
will learn of many companies worth visiting who you may never have
heard of before. For example, if you’re trying to get an automotive
product on the market, the convention wisdom would be to stop by the
booths of the main automakers. But you would also want to visit with
some of the many suppliers to the auto industry who sell to the big
companies – and they’re much easier to work with than the big ones.
Attending a trade show also allows you to see what some of your
competition is doing when you visit their booths.
Attending a trade show allows you to learn much more about your
industry. At last week’s show, I talked with booth vendors who have
been in the industry for a long time, and this was helpful because my
product is in an industry in which I have never worked.
In short, I have
benefited from almost every trade show that I’ve ever attended. And I
usually do NOT rent a booth, which is usually very expensive. In fact,
sometimes it’s better to NOT rent booth space, especially if you go to
the trade show alone.
Here’s why: If you
rent booth space, it means that you’re tied to your booth most of the
time. If you’re alone and you leave to explore the other booths, then
your booth would remain unstaffed and, as a result, unvisited.
On the other hand, if
you don’t rent booth space, you’re able to wander the exhibit hall to
meet with prospects and to see what others in your industry are
Earlier I mentioned
that I managed to find a distributor for my product. How? I showed a
sample of my product to people at a number of booths (while having
proper IP protection, of course), and I received very favorable
comments from the majority of them. But it was a man who owned his own
company – who also did not have a booth there – who I met in the
hallway outside the exhibit hall.
I guess the moral of
this story is that sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. I’ve
found that the more people I talk with, the luckier I get. There’s no
guarantee that my new partner will be able to bring in a lot of sales
of my product, but we’re off to a good start.
And it would never
have happened if not for the industry trade show.
Paul Niemann runs MarketLaunchers.com, building web
pages for inventors. Having your own web page allows you to show your
invention to companies when you’re unable to present it to them in
person, serving as your own “online brochure.” Plus, there are
companies who search the MarketLaunchers.com Invention Database for
new products. Visit
for details and pricing.
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