I have a 'find a tradesman' app. There is a trade show in September which will have over 10,000 tradesmen at the event. I want to target the tradesmen to sign them up. To exhibit is 4k, and I don't have that sort of money (I probably can afford 1k). What do you suggest I do?
Find out what hotel is the official conference site. Get a cheap place as close as you can. Hang out in the lobby, bar, coffee shop. Talk to everyone with a badge going to that hotel. Everyone.
Depending on the product, you can find a rep that carries several product lines and is already registered at the show. It may cost you in commission that you have to pay, but that will be on sales and not upfront exhibition fees.
We are working on a similar project and might be able to collaborate. Please send me a message with your contact info and we can discuss possible synergies. Or, I can message you. Whichever you prefer...
I would look to partner with a company that has a booth at the show. Someone complimentary to your idea / company. I've done this in the past ... basically, share a small part of someone's booth, a partner. Keeps costs low. And also helps to drive traffic to you IF the partner has an established brand.