Not too long ago, inventors and entrepreneurs had limited options available to them in regards to exhibiting their products at trade shows. They could either attend one of the smaller inventor-related trade shows, or they could go to a large national product trade show and exhibit alongside large, established companies. The first option offered very limited exposure for their product, and the second option was both expensive and difficult, requiring professional booth design, collateral materials, and a well-thought trade show strategy.
Today, the landscape for inventors is changing. Inventor only trade shows and exhibiting in the main areas of large national product trade shows is fading away fast and being replaced with the new “micro-show” trend in the trade show industry.
Many of the national trade shows such as the International Home + Housewares Show (IHHS), National Hardware Show (NHS), Response Expo and the PGA Golf Show (PGA) have adopted the “micro-show” concept, offering huge benefits by allowing independent inventors to exhibit in a consolidated area designed specifically for inventors and entrepreneurs. By concentrating inventors in one specific location of the overall trade show, it becomes easier for companies attending the show to find them. These areas become a “destination point” for companies, providing far more exposure to inventors.
Lower Cost + More Exposure
In addition, it is much cheaper to exhibit as an inventor in these areas than it would be to obtain a larger booth on the main trade show floor. The Inventors’ booths offer a turnkey solution, including furniture, signage, and marketing of the booth location.
As these large national trade shows realize the added value that inventors bring to their overall show, they are looking for ways to entice more inventors to attend. To increase the overall value for inventors, many shows now offer inventor education seminars and face-to-face opportunities for inventors to “pitch” their products to key companies in attendance.
InventionHome will once again be sponsoring inventors’ areas at the upcoming International Home + Housewares Show, National Hardware Show, Response Expo and PGA Golf Show. IHHA, NHS and Response all include educational sessions for inventor exhibitors with invaluable advice from industry experts and the chance for the exhibitors to pitch their products directly to companies who actively seek new inventions. In addition, these shows have found creative ways to give inventors more bang for their buck…
If you are considering exhibiting at one of these shows, you should consider having a patent application on file with the USPTO (either a provisional or non-provisional application) before exhibiting. In addition, in order to maximize opportunities at the show, you should also have a good, demonstrable prototype or finished product presentation for buyers to evaluate.