Maybe you don’t adore attending trade shows the same way we do, but you do realize their importance. Where else do you have the opportunity to be in the same room with dozens of companies, where you can pepper representatives with questions about new products and services and learn everything else going on in a particular market or industry?
But like anything else, it’s best to be prepared. Here are three key steps to get ready for your next trade show:
- Do your homework. In the weeks prior to the show, review the exhibitor list to determine the booths you absolutely need to visit, and those that would be nice to visit, but aren’t required. Jot down notes and questions for the booths you plan to visit. Then print out a hard copy of the show floor plan and plot out your approach – maybe you’ll stop at all the must-visits on Day 1, and the nice-to-visits on Day 2. Or maybe you’ll visit booths on the north side of the hall Day 1 and leave the south side for Day 2.
- Get your supplies together. Start with a backpack or briefcase, and fill it with legal pads and pens, so you can take notes in each booth. Include a stack of business cards, along with sundries like aspirin, breath mints, bottled water and hand sanitizer. When you arrive at the show, be sure to grab a copy of the show guide for reference.
- Stay focused on site. You may be tempted to get off track by stopping at booths that look interesting, so do your best to focus. Build in a little extra time to visit booths with which you’re not familiar, but stick to your game plan. Take frequent breaks to recharge your batteries, and drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Remember, efficiency is key to getting the most out of a trade show, and you owe it to your team, and your customers, to do your best.
What methods do you use to prepare for a trade show?