Trade shows: A fantastic way to boost your business and build new relationships

October 12th, 2012
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As the upcoming trade show season approaches, we want to make sure that Zenfolians are aware of all the benefits that these types of events have to offer. If you attend a trade show not only will you be able to visit with us at the Zenfolio booth, but there are also many other great reasons that trade shows are worth the trip.

Trade shows give you the opportunity to learn from the best. The classes that are available range from software tutorials, how-to lessons and demos, to in-depth workshops on lighting, posing, marketing and more. Classes are taught by leading industry experts, giving you up to date information on how to keep your business infused with new ideas and strategies.

Curriculum is kept cutting edge so these classes can be a good way to break through anything that is holding you back. Whether you want to learn a new marketing approach, a new software program, or just get your individual questions answered, access to this information can help you gain valuable insights you can take home to your business.

Tradeshows have been a crucial learning tool for me throughout my career. I’m always excited to get my hands on the latest gear and test out the new products. Not only that, all the big names in the industry are on hand to showcase innovating techniques and bounce ideas off of. If you have the opportunity to go, I highly recommend it.” –Damon Tucci, Wedding Photographer

Trade shows give you the opportunity to meet other photographers like you, as well as rub elbows with the companies whose products you use the most. The atmosphere at tradeshows is one of collaboration and sharing. Many friendships start at tradeshows between like-minded photographers and creative people.

These events also give you the rare opportunity to connect directly and develop relationships with the vendors you use for your business. Is there a product you have wanted to know more about? Or a product that you wish your lab carried? Trade shows are your chance to get more information and to get your voice heard. Vendors also enjoy the chance to interact directly with their client base.

Attending trade shows can be a great way to meet people in the industry and learn about new products. I have made some great connections at shows over the years and make it to as many as I can.” – Dan Ballard, Fine Art Photographer

I love attending trade shows! They offer me the unique opportunity to communicate directly with the companies I use for my business. I also love to see the newest products as they hit the market. Trade shows also give me the chance to hang out and network with other photographers who are as passionate about the industry as I am.”  –Laura Tillinghast, Commercial and Editorial Photographer

With so many photography powerhouses in one place, it’s hard not to be inspired. Whether you are viewing a top photographer’s work for the first time, listening to a platform talk on how to grow your business, or looking at the newest hot product to hit the market, ideas are flying and creative juices are flowing. Trade shows are a place to let your inner child get excited and enjoy the best parts of the industry.

What I love about trade shows (WPPI in particular is my favorite) is that there is a refreshing and inspiring energy throughout the show. Every time I leave a trade show, I bring back ideas and see new products that are going to move me forward with my business. There is so much sharing going on, whether it’s a platform class, or you happen to stumble upon a presentation on the trade show floor. It’s also great to meet and connect with other photographers. I love talking shop or just having fun with people who do what I do! Plus, it’s always good to put a face with a name, so I also love being able to shake the hands and meet the vendors whose services I use. I think all photographers regardless of how new or seasoned they are should do themselves a favor and get to a convention!” – JP Elario, Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Latest and greatest
Companies who attend trade shows and maintain a booth as part of the vendor expo often showcase new products that have just been announced. Getting to hold a new camera body in your hands or see a new lens first-hand is invaluable when deciding how to spend your hard-earned cash.

Trade shows are also a good place to spot the newest trends within the industry. With so many photographers in attendance, it’s easier to get a feel for what is working and not working in terms of marketing, advertising efforts, website design and more.

I like to attend industry trade shows because I am a very tactile and visual person and they afford me the opportunity to touch and feel products that I might want to offer to my clients and tools to improve my craft. I can spend just one day talking with vendors and experiencing their products instead of spending hours online researching and then still not knowing for sure if what they offer is going to be right for my business.” – Shelley Paulson, Equestrian and Wedding photographer

As trade shows are an industry tradition, many vendors offer attendees an exclusive discount that you can only get at the show itself. So if you were thinking about purchasing a new piece of gear or subscribing to a new service, think about signing up at the next trade show you attend.

We find trade shows invaluable for gaining an insight into the photographic industry and staying on top of latest trends in albums, framing, and new photographic gear and software. Some people think this can be done on the Internet without leaving the office but don’t underestimate the benefit of a face-to-face interaction with a supplier. Being able to touch and feel new product samples, test a camera for yourself or demo a software product while having a representative there in person to direct all your questions to is a great opportunity. We find the end of the day brings a chance to unwind and develop business contacts with other like-minded professionals resulting in us returning to the office buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm.” – Archibald Photography, Wedding Photographer

If you do attend a trade show, we hope that you will come say hello to us at the Zenfolio booth! We will be at the following trade shows this season. Hope to see you there!

    PhotoPlus Expo

October 25 – 27, 2012
Booth #1041
January 20 – 22, 2013
Booth #1737

January 11 – 13, 2013
Stand K108

March 3 – 6, 2013
Stand D30

March 11 – 13, 2013
Booth #911

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