How to Find the Best Expos and Trade Shows to Promote Your Business (and Connect with Hundreds of New Prospects!)

by Susan Lucibello

Looking for new leads for your business? Why spend time searching them out one by one when you can connect with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of ideal prospects, all in one place, and in just a few days?

Many network marketing and direct sales professionals already know the value of showcasing their business and products at expos, tradeshows and conferences (one of the most highly-leveraged networking experiences around). It’s surprisingly affordable to get booth space, “set up shop” and start connecting with people passing through.

These days, there are so many different groups and events that you can plug into to find great leads for your business. You may already be working local bridal shows or health and wellness expos, but with just a little research, you’ll find MANY other events (local, regional and national) where you can connect with great leads and find new customers and business partners.

But First – Narrow Down the Field

Although all kinds of people buy your products and join your business, it’s important to identify your “most ideal prospects”. This way, you can do a little research to find the expos and shows they attend, and set yourself up for more success (because you’ll only invest time in the events where you’re likely to find the most qualified leads).

Take a moment to answer these two questions:

1. What kind of prospect is perfect for your products? Who’s already buying your products? What kinds of people are your BEST customers? For example: Men over 40, women under 30, moms, busy professionals, chiropractors, college students, people who want to lose weight, or baby boomers?

2. What kind of person would you love to recruit into your business? What kinds of people are you already attracting into your team? Who seems to be doing especially well in your company? For example: Stay-at-home moms, corporate professionals, baby boomers, teachers, wellness professionals?

Come up with a “top 10 list” of your more ideal prospects (ideally people who are a great fit for both your products and business) and then narrow the list down to your top 3 “ideal prospects.”

This will be your “target market” or the ‘niche” with which to start.

Conferences and Trade Shows for Any Market

No matter who your ideal prospect is, there’s likely an event where you can find them gathering in large numbers. It’s amazing how many different associations, trade shows, expos and conferences exist these days. With just some quick online research, I found associations for all of the prospects listed below. Indeed, many have more than one association, and some hold events at the national (and even international) level!

Teachers – Nurses – Dentists – Doctors – Health Care Providers – Chiropractors – Dental Hygienists – Massage Therapists – Stay-At-Home Moms – Working Moms – Dads – Baby Boomers – Small Businesses (lawyers, financial planners, accountants, etc) – Executives (men and women) – CEOs – Female Entrepreneurs – Military Officers – Military Wives – Gen-Xers – Retirees

There are also many trade shows and conferences dedicated to specific topics or interests. I was able to easily find trade shows or conferences on the following topics:

Golf – Travel – Beauty – Fashion – Shoes – Spa and Salons – Bridal – Wellness – Fitness – Cosmetics – Spa – Weight Loss – Electronics

If you can identify a specific group or area of interest, there’s probably an association, conference or trade show that is connected to it. (Did you know there’s a national association for “Stay at Home Mom’s?)

This is great news for you! If you’re willing to research your niche and come up with a well-planned and executed strategy, you can find hot prospects in many new places. By attending a few key events per year, you can connect with hundreds of new leads, and find new customers and biz builders in the process.

Where to start?

Do Your Research

Start by poking around the Internet to find groups or associations for your target market, and see what conferences or trade shows they attend. Use a few different search engines (like Google and Yahoo) to get a good mix of results.

Enter “Target Market + Association” in the search bar and see what comes up. Try this with the words “trade show” and “conference” too.

For example:

Weight Loss + Association

Weight Loss + Trade Show

Weight Loss + Conference

Weight Loss + Organization

Teachers + Association

Teachers + Trade Show

Teachers + Conference

Teachers + Organization

If you want to find events closer to home, or in a specific part of the country, you can also add specific geographic search terms to narrow results by state or city.

Teachers + Association + California

Teachers + Association + San Diego

More Resources

There are some great websites that pull together information about trade shows and conferences in different markets. Be sure to check these out:

  • BizTradeShows.com
  • The Trade Show News Network-  www.TSNN.com

You can also check with your local chamber of commerce or state convention and visitors bureau to see events scheduled in your area. Tourist information centers and city websites are also great sources of information. (Most major cities have a website showcasing local events.)

Pickup magazines catering to your target market and look through the ads (usually at the back) for events and trade shows. Look at the other ads too—they might give you ideas about other companies and organizations that cater to this market.

And don’t forget to ask around! Talk with people you know in this target market to find out about other events, groups, associations and conferences. Your contacts can often give tips or insider information about these events to help you determine if it’s worth your time to attend or book an exhibitor booth.

Identifying a good conference or trade show to promote your business takes time and research, but the dividends can be huge. Get ready to have fun, work hard and show off your business!


magic-words-laptopQuestions or comments on this topic? I’d LOVE to hear them – please post below and I’ll do my best to respond promptly…

And if you want to learn some additional tips to recruit people (without being pushy or feeling uncomfortable)…

… join me for my next webinar training – “The Magic Words to Selling and Sponsoring” – a gift for those of you in the Savvy Women community.

Get more details, save your seat here:  www.TheMagicWordstoSelling.com


Sonia Stringer is a professional speaker, business coach, and popular mentor to over 500,000 women in the network marketing/direct selling profession.  Sonia is an expert in “elegant influence” and renowned for her ability to help women sell and recruit in a way that is comfortable, classy, and highly effective. Find out more about her free training resources, coaching programs, and live events at www.SavvyNetworkMarketingWomen.com


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