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Preparation Tips for a Successful Trade Show Experience← back
Trade shows may seem daunting at first, but they are actually very exciting and even fun! Take some time to prepare for your next big trade show, and you will find yourself less stressed as you explore the floor.
Below are three preparation tips that will help make your time at the show all the more enjoyable.
Familiarize yourself with where you are going—whether that be a conference center 20 minutes away from your office or an out-of-state destination. Use Google Maps to locate the closest parking lots and to familiarize yourself with the surrounding area. (After all, you’ll have to leave to eat eventually if food isn’t readily available!)
If possible, pre-register for the show and any seminars you plan to attend so you can get into the show quickly.
Dress The Part
Remember, you are representing your company. Dress business casual. Nice slacks and a polo are typical of most guests. You can even wear a shirt with your company’s logo which will serve as a visual aid when meeting vendors.
If allowed, bring a backpack. Every booth gives out flyers, candy and other swag. You simply cannot hold these freebies all day long and dropping things off at your car isn’t always a convenient option. With a backpack, you can bring home as much stuff as you want!
Comfortable shoes are the most vital part of your attire! Bring along a nice pair of tennis shoes or buy some gel inserts. You will thank yourself for the extra support after eight hours on your feet.
Talk Your Way Through Showtime
Arrive early! Get there before the show opens to take advantage of every hour you have. Chances are you or your company has paid to be there, so get your money’s worth. Attend a variety of workshops and seminars to meet new people, grow your network and mingle with industry influencers. Manage your time wisely. Sure you have all day, but when you start talking, time starts to fly.
Bring business cards—lots and lots of them! If you are connecting with people, you will fly through 20 or 30 cards before the end of the day. It helps to keep them somewhere that’s easily accessible. In other words, don’t keep them buried in your wallet or backpack.
Don’t spend time with vendors that are not of interest to your company, and don’t spend too much time with the vendors your company already has a well-established relationship with. Also, try not to rush. Rushing could cause you to miss out on potential connections and opportunities. This is a day to branch out and network with new names and faces. Put yourself out there. Trade shows are an opportunity to build brand awareness and in turn, get more business.
Now that you know more about what you’ll be getting yourself into, you can relax and put all your energy into having a great time! Remember, all attendees are going in with the same intentions as you are; don’t overthink it.