Trade shows: Cost/benefit challenges

At last week’s CIBC presents Entrepreneurship 101, course organizers Jennifer White and I, as well as guest speaker Dan Bolger from the CIBC, talked about the network or ecosystem that every new company must plug into.

One aspect of that network is trade shows – places where companies and people in your sector (however that is defined) meet to exchange information, strike deals, check out the competition, etc. One question arises: If you have a new venture, with technology, software, or a business model that is innovative – but not yet protected – should you go to a trade show?

Trade shows are great places to investigate the competition and to talk to potential partners or customers, but how do you do that without giving away your secret sauce? You can just keep quiet and risk being dismissed as a tourist. You only talk under cover of an NDA and risk being seen as simply a pain in the butt. You can tease, hint at your novelty and risk being seen as… what? Is it worth the risk, or should you just stay home until you’ve got your IP filed?

Downloads and Resources

Weren’t able to attend the class? Need some notes or want to look something up? Click below for all of the goodies from the lecture. Watch the video and the slide presentation below.

CIBC presents Entrepreneurship 101 2009/10 – Week 5 – Basic Nuts and Bolts of Building a Business from MaRS Discovery District on Vimeo.
Basic Nuts and Bolts of Building a Business
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