Once Brown gets home, she has fun sorting through the bags of items gathered at the show. She starts with the freebies--such as pens, hats or mugs--given out by exhibitors. "I start with the goodies and give them all away," she laughs. "Then I sort through the information."
Brown immediately discards any information not of interest to her. Then, she makes notes and sorts the remaining information packets according to what they can offer her. She then writes letters, makes follow-up calls, and sets up meetings with organizations.
To find out about trade shows, contact your local chamber of commerce or professional business organizations. They can usually tell you what's coming before the shows are announced in the paper. "By the time you see it in the newspaper," Brown says, "you might already have something planned for that day."
If you take the risks necessary to go into business for yourself, you want to do so armed with knowledge. A trade show is a great place to find that knowledge, as well as the right contacts to keep your business running for years.
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