7 BIG Reasons For Engineers To Attend Trade Shows, Conferences, Expos, and Exhibitions

Are you sick of going to expos, trade shows, conferences, and all the other jargon-wrapped events? You went hoping to catch a big fish but ended up with a bunch of useless business cards? 

Trust me, you’re not the only one. 

I’ve probably set up, been, and walked in more expos than clothing stores in my life, and that’s just our daily routine as engineers. But I have good news for you today. 

I’m not going to go all extra on this, but I’ve got to break the truth to you. 

Sharing business cards and handshakes (prior to COVID at least), and forcing your brain to remember the names of a bunch of people (now in masks) are the FIRST step to building your very own legacy. 

That’s right, print more business cards, or get that super awesome cool QR embedded virtual business card if you have to, because this is the world today. Our life is like an endless contact list. A neverending phone number book or email database that we need to collect and compile every single day. Nothing can go to waste. 

Our life as engineers can be considered as a VERY BIG marketing funnel that runs 24/7. 

Even if you’re on vacation, you may just meet a fellow engineer or business owner that will launch your business to the next level. It’s an unexpected industry. 

Take a look at this funnel here – I created a small graphic so you can imagine yourself as a big ‘man’ funnel. 

Perfect, now all we engineers can visualise ourselves as a big man funnel, I hope. 

I mean, let’s be honest with each other… Handshakes are a BIG sign of trust now. So I think that’s worth a step after a business card. The only thing preventing some people from spraying all the business cards with sanitisers is just so the writings won’t smear. Phew! It’s a whole new world we’re living in. 

I’m hoping we can jump straight to contracts after lunch, but I don’t think you’d even be able to get a dating partner with this funnel, so let’s walk through the customer journey slowly.

If you look at the tiny chips of texts going into the funnel, you’ll see expos, another expo, fruitless meetings, and tons of shows and conferences that you’ve probably attended! 

Now consider the chances of meeting the same people twice on different occasions and events. Is this rare in our industry? Absolutely not! You meet the same people over and over again, especially if you’re in the same area!  

So take this as an opportunity. With these events, you may feel that you have not been resulting any leads, but consider these:

  • You get to diversify your network when going to events where like-minded entrepreneurs, engineers, and industry leaders are looking for opportunities. 
  • When someone goes to an event, they are automatically wiring their brain to look for opportunities, whether it’s short or long-term. Everyone in the room is ALREADY highly qualified leads. You just need to make sure who you’re dealing with. 
  • You get to eavesdrop on new, hot trends and inventions in the industry, and most of the time, FOR FREE! I’d consider that good time investment.
  • Collaborations are everywhere, EVEN if they may not be for the venture you had in mind. 
  • You are getting unlimited exposure to everyone in the room. The more you bring yourself to come across new people, the more marketing you’re doing on yourself, WITHOUT actually selling anything. The only thing you’re promoting is your personality. 
  • People trust people. Hook them into your big ‘man funnel’, and they’ll become your lifelong acquaintances, friends, colleagues, partners, and even better, intels.  
  • Make friends. We engineers don’t have many hobbies. Again, this is a sad truth, but we’re already struggling to try to make time for our families. It’s not easy to make new friends when our brains are always filled with endless ideas and action plans. These events are a great way for you to meet like-minded people that may be your personal friend! You may have similar mindsets, daily routines, interests, locations, and most importantly, motivations! That sounds like a friend in the making to me! 

I think we know best, that life is the hardest thing to catch and grasp with our hands. 

Everything we try to aim or target always seems to run away from us. 

But the funny thing is that when you stop chasing a specific motivation or goal and just slowly enjoy the process, you open your eyes and heart to a WHOLE new world, which ultimately opens up so many doors of opportunities! 

Listen out. Engineers, you’re not a machine. You’re not a robot. You’re a human! You may work with machines and endless technologies, but that doesn’t make you one of them.

Enjoy life! Be this very big ‘man funnel’ that takes all the network you can and throw out those people that don’t seem like a good impact on your funnel. That’s perfectly fine! 

Whatever way you want to use to recycle, reuse, and repurpose your big man funnel is a whole different story that you can discuss with me. I’m talking about MONETISING and making money OUT of that big man funnel. Call me today at (+61) 02 8416 4442 if you want to know how I’m doing that. Really, I want to connect. 

Realistically, here’s what you get from a business point of view by going to events in the industry:

Improved knowledge of the industry. Most of the time, conferences are set out to launch innovative ideas and concepts. It’s probably the first time the ideas/prototypes/concepts are presented to the public. Participate in discussions and listen in on how other engineers are building their company. 

Use new ideas to improve your business operations. Q&As and brainstorming sessions with engineers are AMAZING ways to improve your business. Just like yourself, other engineers have great innovations and ideas that are just waiting to be implemented. 

Acquire new connections and extend your network of potential business partners. Engineering trade shows and conferences can significantly improve your partner’s database. Collect business cards and prospect information and make sure to run PR and marketing materials on them after you leave the venue! Don’t miss the momentum.  

Engineering trade shows and conferences improve your employees’ professional skills. Such events are a great investment in your employees’ learning. They’ll see what’s really going on in the industry and learn how to cope and adapt to other engineers and industry leaders. 

Engineering trade shows offer great sales and lead opportunities for engineering companies. Trade show visitors are already interested in your products – all you need to do is to ensure your visibility and stand out among other companies during the trade show. This is why it is important to choose the right spot and invest in banners and booth design.

Trade shows allow you to interact with your clients offline – “face to face”. Such communications allow engineering companies to build closer relationships with the clients and tell more about their business services and products.

Apart from gaining new clients, engineering companies will have a great chance to collect valuable feedback from industry experts on their performance. The key here is not to be devastated in case some negative comments come to your attention. Remember, it’s better to know your weaknesses to improve them and turn them into your strengths rather than not knowing them at all and repeating the same mistakes over and over again. 

Trade shows are a great opportunity to make your brand stand out and strengthen your authority in the industry. You can share your news or even prepare a few “surprises” to make more people speak about you during the trade show. Product launches are a great way to market in trade shows.

Engineering trade shows give you an amazing chance to see and analyse your competitor’s business. You can also get the latest news among firsts and meet new competitors as well. Eventually, information is of most value in the engineering industry. A priceless treasure


Engineering companies should take their performance at the trade show seriously. Before attending the trade show, ensure that you’ve prepared all the essentials:

  1. Make sure you are well aware of the trade show’s set of rules and schedules. Trade shows often have deadlines that are strict and must be met impeccably.
  2. Prepare the design of your banners and booth in advance – it’s your chance to stand out among your competitors and showcase your brand’s visual.
  3. Set the goals for your participation in the trade show.
  4. Collateral materials such as a brochure, flyers, etc. must be prepared beforehand and in the proper amount. You will need them when meeting clients and potential partners.

This article came from much personal experience. With endearment and countless challenges faced, I came to the conclusion, that events such as trade shows, expos, exhibitions, conferences, and many others are really useful and great in contributing to an engineering company’s business. Monetising is also VERY possible, as long as you have the right strategy and people in your team. 

I’m proud to have a great network within my surroundings, especially in Australia, and if you’re willing to join in, please feel free to send me an email here

AR & Associates have helped IT, Engineering, Automation, Manufacturing, and Energy companies all across Australia to generate leads, increase brand awareness, maintain reputable PR, as well as increase sales.

We focus on helping you spend less time in marketing, and more time serving your customers. Leave the matter to the respective experts. As engineers ourselves, we understand the core values and importance of marketing through trust and reliability. 

We provide a full tailor-made solution that helps you build your company to the next level through digital and on-site marketing. With expertise in organic omnichannel marketing and on-site event or workshop planning, we offer a full turn-key marketing solution that gives you time, space, and freedom to focus on what you do best, which is to run your business. 

Email us here or call us today at (+61) 02 8416 4442 to get more information or book a complimentary marketing consultation or strategy session.

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