As a small, new or emerging business, attending trade shows to meet buyers and retailers is a crucial opportunity, but show fees can often be cost-prohibitive. In light of this, the American Equestrian Trade Association (AETA) has launched the AETA Incubator, a special area specifically designated to these businesses in their upcoming International Trade Show.

The cost of attendance will be made affordable for smaller manufacturers who may not need an entire booth, but still want to be present at the show. For business owners like Tracey Currey, founder of PonyTail Bows, this opportunity is monumental.

“This year will be my first time showing as a business on my own with Ponytail Bows,” she said. “I had previously attended shows under the umbrella of my distributor, but this year, I was wondering, ‘How am I going to get there and be able to afford to do this on my own?’ This program game me that ability. I signed up within a day of hearing about it.”

The show, which will be held in Oaks, Penn., January 28 – 30, 2017, is a chance for vendors and retailers and manufacturers to connect and form relationships, as well as learn from others in the industry that have found success.

As AETA President Kelly Heard explained, “This is the perfect opportunity for early stage companies to affordably bring their product to the marketplace.”

The AETA Incubator offers a 5’x10’ booth space, which includes: carpet, one table, two chairs, one wastebasket and an ID sign for $350 for the entire three-day trade show.

Kim Maychuk, ringleader of Daybreak Farm Muffin Company, believes that having the incubators grouped together at the trade show is a great way to showcase what’s on the rise in the industry.

“Each emerging manufacturer brings their own flavor and have their own little niche, and it’s nice for the industry to see what everyone is doing and what new things are coming up,” she said. “The program is just a great way for small manufacturers to get a jump start and I’m really excited about it.”

Tracey Currey believes that trade shows and organizations like AETA are game-changers in the trajectory of small businesses, and this is a can’t-miss opportunity.

“The thing I love about business is opportunities for support and giving back, and I see AETA as a leader in this,” Tracey said. “They’re so supportive of different businesses of different sizes and scales, and in the age of big box retailers, AETA’s support of smaller businesses is huge.”

Space is limited for the Incubator, so companies interested in the opportunity should contact AETA as soon as possible. For more information on The AETA Incubator, contact AETA President Kelly Herd at or contact AETA at 717-724-0204. Learn more about the trade show at