Trade shows and other vendor events are a fact of life for anybody in direct sales. They provide you with an opportunity to meet customers in person, helping you to forge personal connections and establish a rapport. In a world where an increasing number of sales transactions take place anonymously through online merchants, vendor events are a great way to personalize your brand, help build awareness, and generate sales leads. They are one of the most effective networking opportunities you’ll find. An added bonus is the fact that you can stealthily gauge your competition.