Trade Show Strategy For Accounting Firms

3 min readApr 15, 2024

Attending trade shows can still be a valuable strategy for accounting firms looking to connect with current and potential clients. When deciding which events to attend, it’s important to consider whether to focus on trade shows that cater to your target customer or trade shows specifically for the accounting industry.

The choice for Accountfully has always been focusing on immersion into the industries our target clients exist in.

Natural Products Expo West, DigSouth, Small Business Expos–events that exist to promote the client’s specialties. We find it to be beneficial for connecting with existing clients in person and a great way to be exposed to new business opportunities. Even with the seemingly slow death of these types of large gatherings, we still see it as a valuable way to provide in-person customer connections.

With our cloud-based business model, most of our clients only communicate with us via GoogleMeet and email. Attending a few key events each year gives us the opportunity to meet and greet on a regular basis in person.

What are the benefits and downsides of each choice? Here are some things to consider when using event attendance as part of your business development plan.

Target the Industries of Your Client Base

If your target customer is a specific industry, such as healthcare or technology, attending trade shows in that industry can be a great way to network with potential clients and showcase how your accounting services can benefit their business. Accountfully specializes in CPG companies, and our presence at bog food and beverage related events has really helped propel us as an industry leader in that space.

By being present at these trade shows, you can position yourself as an expert in their field and build relationships with key decision-makers. This is a great way to find partners and networks that can plug you into their bank of small businesses seeking accounting support. This can be for new clients, or for supporting large initiatives, like accounting-related education.

Use The Accounting Events to Pursue Professional Development

I never understood the reason for accountants to attend accounting-related trade shows where you can connect with colleagues and competitors and complain about clients. It always seemed counterintuitive to me as a business building exercise.

The last thing I want to do is spend thousands of dollars on talking about accounting with my competition.

The best way to make these beneficial to your business is to spin the narrative toward professional and firm-wide development.

If you are itching to make it to an accounting focused expo, they can be beneficial for accounting firms looking to stay up-to-date on industry trends, network with other professionals in the field, and learn about new technologies and tools that can improve their services. However, in this day and age, chances are you can gain a lot of this knowledge through online courses and resources like LinkedIn Learning.

Closing Thoughts

Ultimately, the decision to attend trade shows of your target customer versus accounting trade shows will depend on your firm’s goals and target market. Carefully consider your objectives and the potential benefits of each type of trade show, so that the strategy helps you reach your business goals and does not waste time or resources.

At the end of the day, if you ask me what my answer is, I am going to recommend you save the money and take advantage of online options for professional development and save the networking for industry focused opportunities.

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What trade shows and business building events am I missing? Where are you headed this year? Tell me below 👇




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