Exhibition Stands and Crowdfunding #2: Create Your Own Trade Show?!

Today, let’s step away from the particulars of setting up exhibition stands and do a little wishful thinking instead.

What if you could start your own trade show?insitu island-resized-600

Sure, this may not be a dream that every company harbors, but it’s still an interesting, if not intriguing thought. You’d get to determine the theme and makeup of the entire show. You’d be able to host the biggest exhibition stands you’ve ever created. You could theoretically even become a media darling and get huge exposure if it works.

The idea of a small player actively creating new trade shows to influence the landscape of their industry is one that’s only recently become possible. For one success story, look at the Penny Arcade Expo, also known as “PAX.” In less than a decade, a small regional trade show created by video game webcomic writers has risen to become, if not the biggest, then at least one of the most influential shows in the electronics industry.

If you have a dream for a trade show that carves out a new niche or becomes a leader in industry thought, now may be the right time to seize that dream, especially thanks to crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding Your Way To Your Very Own Trade Show

We’ve covered crowdfunding and exhibition stands before and, if our web metrics are any indication, this seems to be a pretty popular topic. So why not take it one step further? Crowdfunding can make dreams of creating brand new exhibition shows a reality.connex_pp1_main

The best part is, this isn’t hypothetical. We’ve got concrete examples of people successfully leveraging crowdfunding to create their own exhibitions. In one case, all the show needed was around $7,000 to raise the principal capital needed. That shouldn’t be hard to achieve, if you’ve got an idea that is going to attract the attention of businesses in your area.

Tips For Starting a New Trade Show

  • Have a concrete purpose, a “high concept” for the show: The point here cannot simply be to give you a place to host your own exhibition stands. You need to be able to convince people that your expo concept is different, unique, and addresses a key need or failing of existing trade shows.
  • The pitch video is everything: Crowdfunding is new enough that there’s still little consensus on the best way to pitch a crowdfunded project. However, one thing is clear: your video is the most important element. It’s what will “sell” people on your project, and it’s also what people will share socially if they want to get involved and help push it. This is where your top focus should be.
  • Show your work: Your budgeting and plans for your new trade show should be clearly spelled out in your documentation. Convincing people that you know what to do with their donations is one of the keys to selling them on your idea. Have plenty of numbers and details.
  • Get social involvement: Crowdfunded ideas live or die thanks to social media and “Web 2.0” websites. You need to get people backing you on social media, and pitch it towards websites like Reddit with a diverse user base and an interest in crowdfunding. If you can get the media or mainstream websites interested, all the better.

Again, this path is not for everyone, and not something to do as a lark. However, for the right business in the right position, creating your own trade show with your exhibition standsfeatured in the best spot could be a great investment in the future and in positioning yourself as a next-generation leader of your industry.

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