Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tips for Attending a Trade Show

Trade shows are a great way to see new products, learn industry trends, network with people, and grow your business. There is so much to do and see at trade shows though, that it can often be overwhelming. Planning ahead to know what you want to accomplish before, during, and after the show can help ease a bit of that overwhelming stress

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of attending a trade show:

Before the Show: 

  • Pre-register as soon as you can. Avoid the confusion and long lines of having to register at the event. This also allows you to get your travel accommodations in advance to avoid overpriced hotels and flights.
  • Set goals for what you want to accomplish at the show. It’s important to know what benefit the show can have for your business. This can also help in planning your agenda. 
  • Decide on who should attend. Is it beneficial to bring multiple employees? Will the employee and the business get something out of it? 
  • Have an agenda. View the list of exhibitors and the workshops the tradeshow is offering, and map out who and what you want to see. Hit up your most important stops first so you don’t miss out on them if you run out of time. 
  • Set appointments. If you can, set up appointments with the main exhibitors you want to see. Write down questions or comments you want to ask them. 

 What to Bring:

  • Comfy shoes. Lots of walking leads to sore feet! 
  • Leave room for extra stuff. You’ll be picking up pamphlets and goodies from the show, so make sure you leave room in your travel bags. 
  • Bring a notebook. Take notes during workshops and seminars. 
  • Business cards. If you have business cards, hand them out to important people you meet.

 At the Show:
  • Get a map and agenda. Some things might have changed from when you made your agenda. Look and adjust your plan accordingly. 
  • Don’t linger at every booth. Make sure you leave enough time to see everything you want to. 
  • Watch your budget. If you are placing orders, make sure you stay on track for how much you wanted to spend. 
  • Stay fueled. Trade shows make for long days. Make sure you stay hydrated and eat enough. 
  • Network. Introduce yourself and start conversations. Build new business relationships because that’s what you are there for!  Don’t forget to give them your business cards and get there’s too. Make notes on the back of business cards for a reminder when you get back home.

*Have fun! Tour the city you are in, go to the show’s after parties, relax and enjoy your moments away from work. (Just make sure you are still able to get value during the day from the show).

After the Show: 

  • Look back at your goals. Did you accomplish what you wanted? Was it worthwhile for your business? Should you attend again next year? 
  • Make notes. List what went well and what you should plan better for next year. 
  • Follow up. Stay in contact with any connections you made at the show. 

Trade shows are a great time and very beneficial for your business, but can be overwhelming. A little time and preparation can help take the stress out of attending. 

We hope these few tips will help you prepare for your next trade show. Possibly the Florida Tow Show? We will be there, and we would love to meet you! So, don’t forget to put Booth 145 in your show agenda!

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