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The Ultimate Guide to Business Expos

(spark) participated in The Chamber Jeffersontown’s “Business Expo” on March 21st at The Ramada Plaza & Triple Crown Pavilion.

The Chamber Jeffersontown has been hosting this one-day event annually for 25 years. The event includes a luncheon, silent auction, food vendor tasting and prize drawings. The Chamber does so many fun things throughout the all-day expo, the time flies right by.

Many of our team members have attended before, but this was the first year (spark) had a booth on the expo floor. We were excited to interact with Chamber members and talk about all things digital!

Throughout the day, we had incredible and insightful conversations with local professionals, business-owners and entrepreneurs. But mostly, everyone was excited to be there. Here are some of the benefits of being a vendor at a Chamber or other local organization’s business expo:

1) A business expo like this is a great place to meet new potential customers.

Generally, someone that attends a business expo isn’t necessarily looking to buy anything on the spot. They might be perusing companies. They might be trying to learn more about the business community. But they might also be great potential customers. It’s best to focus on building relationships first instead of “pitching” everyone walking by. Folks who could be customers will reveal their interest during the conversation.

2) A business expo is a great chance to get in front of a substantial number of people and learn what your audience looks like.

Maybe the people most interested in your business aren’t who you thought would be your target audience. It’s possible that through your conversations at the expo, you learn your products/services need be adapted in some way to be more competitive. This is a chance to see how a wide range of people react to what you offer – and use this new information to improve your business in the long-run.

3) Digital marketers know the average human attention span is around eight seconds.

And at a business expo, there are a plethora of things going on – people to talk to, food to try, giveaways to enter, etc. You have to engage people that stop at your booth or you’ll lose their attention fast. An expo is a great time to hone your “elevator pitch” and better understand how to talk about your business.

4) A local expo – like the one put on by The Chamber Jeffersontown – is a great opportunity to meet your neighbors and interact with the local business community

You’ll meet businesses near yours. You might find a company that can help you with a problem your business is having, or maybe you’ll find your business can help your neighbor’s. And you’ll find there are incredible companies you didn’t know about in your backyard. By being a part of this kind of event, others are discovering you and your company for the first time as well.

5) Supporting local chamber is a good thing.

The same applies for an expo put on by a local rotary, service organization, trade association and other similar groups. Local groups strengthen a sense of community and build prosperity in your area. The more you support your local business community, the more they will support you back. Also chambers advocate for the business community in local government – giving you a chance to be a part of the collective advocacy for better business climate, education, healthcare, environment and other public policies.    

6) Let’s be frank: You’re going to see your competition at a business expo.

Interacting with your competition can be a benefit if you choose to approach it in this way. As long as you aren’t crowding their booth or spreading negativity, your competition will likely be happy to have a conversation. This is a good chance to see what other businesses are doing. Check out their booth and what strategies they’re using to pull people in. Maybe they’re doing something better than you. Do they have a shiny new product/service you don’t have? Are there are things they do well that you need to consider adding to step up your game? Use this opportunity to see what others are doing and utilize this insight to make your business better. 

A business expo is a great way to connect with other local businesses, learn more about your competition, and improve how your market your business. The ROI you could see far outpaces the investment required and puts you face-to-face with hundreds (if not thousands) of potential customers. Local expos should be an integral part of your marketing strategy this year!