How many times has your company sent you to a tradeshow? Have you gone in the past only to return feeling it was a waste of time and money? Were you prepared to be an attendee? Getting the most from a trade show requires careful preparation. These simple steps will aid you in preparing to get the most from the shows you attend.
- Before the Show: Make a list of goals to achieve while at the show; both company and personal. Include in those goals the booths you want to visit and the appropriate time you will require at each booth. Then decide who will be visiting those booths if more than one of your employees will be attending the show.
- During the Show: On arrival to the show, re-plan and then stick to your plans. Did any exhibitors not show? Are there others there you did not originally know would be in attendance? Make time to visit them as well. Finding maps of the floor and knowing show hours will aid in achieving your goals. Also, do not just grab brochures from these vendors. Spend the time you have scheduled with each vendor. Let them know what schedule you are on. They want to make the most of their time as well as yours. Finally, take breaks and stay hydrated. A sharp mind all day will ensure you get as much out of the last booth you visit as you did from the first.
- After the Show: If you have stuck to your plans and achieved your goals you will have a wealth of new knowledge and materials to look through. Take time to organize those thoughts, notes, and brochures. Be sure to follow up with your new found contacts and vendors after the show. Follow through with those leads. Finally, was there any marketing you saw at the show from vendors you could implement into your own store(s)?
Following these simple steps will ensure a more productive tradeshow for you and better business opportunities for your company.