As you prep your calendar for the year, you probably wonder whether adding the trade shows will be worth your time. As an attendee, it can sometimes be overwhelming, and you end up wandering aimlessly rather than taking the trade show by storm. Fortunately, it can be worth it to attend these events if you have the right approach.
We’ve put together great tips to help you make the most of your trade show experience, from the moment you arrive to the final networking event.
Put Yourself Together
If your purpose is networking, then you’ll want to make sure you’re clean and well-dressed. Staying at a hotel close by can mean having more time in the morning to sleep in, so try to book nearby. Often trade shows will have a deal with lodging options in the same area, so do your research before you reserve a room.
Make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Most people in the trade show booth won’t notice your feet, and it’s important to eliminate distractions like aching feet if you want to make a good impression.
Embrace Digital Trade Show Options
Sometimes a virtual trade show is a better option because it’s more efficient. You save time and travel fees, and you can view the virtual trade show displays from your own office or living room. Schedule time in your calendar to attend the virtual trade show. If you try to fit it in around meetings and other obligations, you won’t get as much out of it. Put a lot of thought into what you say in the chat windows with the vendors (remember, tone doesn’t come across very well online).
Instead of searching “trade shows near me” when you’re ready to go to a trade show, plan ahead which ones you will visit. Schedule them ahead of time, and then spend some time with the map researching the businesses who will be there. Once you know which businesses will attend, you can make your plan for how you will approach them. Decide which entrance you will go in and in what order you’ll visit the booths. This will make your time spent at the trade show most efficient.
Bring a bag to carry all the literature you pick up, and leave room in your suitcase to take it home. If it’s an option, ask the vendors to mail the information to you, rather than having to carry it back yourself.
Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to others. You came here to network, so put yourself out there! Bring plenty of business cards with you to hand out at trade show exhibits that seem like a good fit for your business. Attend any social gatherings the show sponsors, like after-hours networking groups, workshops, or happy hour. If the show has an app, you can often find these options there and register for them, if required.
Making Great Connections
Whether you find new clients from your experience at the trade show or you gain new vendors that will serve your business better, you have a lot to gain by attending. Even virtual trade shows can bring big benefits for you, so follow the tips above to make the most of your day.
We can help you plan for your next trade show event. Check out our other blog articles to get started!