Trade shows can get your product before a target audience, but the cost of exhibiting is often high. Cash-strapped companies can keep the price down by sharing a booth and exhibiting at less expensive regional shows.
John Harney, CEO of the $2.5-million tea company Harney & Sons, in Salisbury, Conn., reports that the first five or six years he was in business, he shared a booth at the Fancy Food Show with a friend who was repping canned fish, honey, and a garlic spread. Harney suggests that start-up companies consider regional shows, but a little homework is in order. "Some are dogs," he says. Before you sign on as an exhibitor, check the credentials of the show's management, the history of the show, trends in attendance and sponsor support, and references of major exhibitors.