"If you're a business owner, and the convention works for you, it's one of the best ways to advance your business," says Joe Gold, CEO of Bahama Mamas, a manufacturer of cigars.
says exhibiting at trade shows has been huge for him and his
company, allowing him to lure potential buyers that he
otherwise wouldn't be able to reach.
For 14 years, Gold
has been exhibiting his
cigar products at conventions around the globe.
was starting out, he
exhibited at a show in Macau.
"I did kind of crazy things," Gold
On Feb. 1 and 2, Bahama Mamas
will have a booth at the 2012 Tobacco Plus Expo International.
The trade show is targeted to buyers and manufacturers within the tobacco industry.
"The exposure is immense," Gold
For shows that he
attends in Las Vegas, Gold
tends to spend between $6,000 and $7,000 on his
exhibits, which include bright orange and yellow displays of his
cigar products as well as a slew of Bahama Mama girls, the models who promote the brand.
Out-of-state shows cost more - between $10,000 and $13,000 - because of the travel involved.
chooses different booth sizes, depending on the convention.
opts for a 10 feet-by-10 feet; other times he'll choose a 10 feet-by-20 feet.
Occasionally, he'll book a 20 feet-by-20 feet.
does, a show will cost him between $15,000 and $18,000.
For out-of-state trade shows, Gold pays for hotel and airfare not only for himself, but his
team of Bahama Mama girls, his
executive vice president and his
said the cost is worth it.
"For us, it has been unbelievably successful," he
"It has always paid off for us."
suggests business owners research industry-specific shows, then talk to others in their line of work to see what they think of a particular convention before they go as exhibitors or attendees.
If you're planning to go as an attendee, Gold
also advises checking out the educational seminars, not only the show floor.
"It's a mass of information and good things you can do for your business," Gold