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Trade Show Opportunities Searching for a new business can be easy if you follow these tips.

By Johanna S. Billings

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you're looking to start a business, a trade show can be agreat place to gather information--whether you're seeking newcustomers, suppliers or contacts for your business, or you'reshopping for a new business to start. Exhibitor booths are mannedby franchisors, business-opportunity sellers, banks, phonecompanies, Internet service providers, and even the Small BusinessAdministration--all of whom are eager to assist you. Some tradeshows even offer seminars on a variety of business-relatedtopics.

But trade shows can be overwhelming, with dozens of exhibitorsall competing for your attention. In order to get the most out of ashow, you need to know what to expect and how to sort through themany offerings.

"A good show will have a floor plan," says Helen C.Brown of Aston, Pennsylvania, who attends trade shows regularly tomake contacts for her meeting- and event-planning business,Concepts to Reality Inc. "If you have that, you can plan, inadvance, which exhibits you want to hit."

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