When attending a trade show, it’s a good idea to know exactly what it is first. A trade show or trade fair is an exhibition that is set up so that different companies within a certain industry can showcase all of the products and services that they offer through demonstrations, trade show exhibits displays and interaction exhibit designs, etc. It’s a great way to market the company to people who already know that they are interested in the industry. So, before you decide to go, you want to make sure that you know what industry is going to be showcased at the exhibition and that it is something you are interested in already. This will make it much more enjoyable. Here are a few things you should know before going to a show:
- Have a Plan
These shows can be overwhelming because of all the things that are offered and shown. While trade show exhibits displays can be enticing, you can’t allow yourself to get pulled into everything. Remember why you are there and to emphasize the networking side of things rather than the socializing part. There will be many interesting seminars and opportunities to meet important vendors in the business if that’s what you are looking to do. Make sure you know ahead of time who will be speaking and who you want to hear from. This way you can schedule yourself accordingly without missing anything important. You’ll be able to maximize your time like this.
- Know Where You Want to Go
This ties in with the first point but you can find out before you get there which booths are available on the convention floor. There will be a list of presents and vendors and you can decide in advance where you want to go in order to make sure that you make the most of your time there. You can actually set up appointments beforehand to meet some of the people you want to and possibly even arrange a one on one meeting with the important ones over lunch or something. You can call the venue and request advance literature which will also help you by saving you time because you will be able to read up on everything that you need to before you even get to the event.
- Bring Your Own Materials
Don’t get so caught up in gleaning information and ideas that you forget to market your own business. Even if you are an attendee and not a vendor or speaker in a trade fair, you can still give out your own information. For example, if some trade show exhibits displays catch you eye, you can use the booth designs to strike up conversation relating to your own company and eventually end up trading business cards and contact information for future use. Trade show graphics can be a great ice breaker but if you don’t have your own brochures or materials prepared, you will end up failing in the networking side of things.
- Take Breaks
These shows can be overwhelming with all their trade show exhibits displays and crazy schedules. If you are hungry or tired or your feet are sore, you aren’t going to be able to give your best impression. Make sure that you schedule breaks in to your plan and take time to eat and rest your feet so you don’t end up getting irritated with the whole event. Schedule a lunch time but snack breaks are also important. However, even during lunch, avoid alcohol until the event is finished and you have left the venue. Taking regular breaks will help you to focus and not get distracted by the free giveaways, glamour and exciting custom exhibits or trade show booth designs that each booth offers.
Follow these four simple tips for attending a trade show and you should really be able to enjoy yourself and make some great contacts along the way. You may even make some great purchases if you are patient and willing to negotiate. Simply put, stay focused and stick to the plan and you will have a great time navigating through the booths and the vendors and you will be able to make the most of your trip.