Why attend trade shows?
To get buyers. Retailers and distributors will be there. And, awards are often given to new products, and those awards can be mentioned in press releases.
What do I need before showing my invention at a Trade Show?
You should have a “patent pending” status before showing your invention at a trade show. The risk of having your invention stolen is too great otherwise. You can get a “patent pending” status by simply filing a low-cost provisional patent application. Or, if you are able, a utility patent application is even better. See that portion of our web site for more details.
What should I tell other companies?
Assume that anything you say will be used against you by your competitors. No matter how friendly the person is, you should NOT tell them your patent application number, or what company is producing your goods, or what company is packaging your goods. Those are trade secrets, and no one is entitled to such secrets unless they are willing to sign a Confidentiality Agreement (see our section on those in this site). Even then, it may not be a good idea to give out such information.