Doing what you usually do will get you exactly the same result. If you want to get more out of visiting a tradeshow, ask yourself precisely what you want to achieve. Having this outcome in mind will help you define your show strategy. Here are five tips to help you get the most out of your showtime.
1. Consider how you want to improve your business
Identify issues that your business must address, now and in the future. Make a list of exhibitors that have products or know-how that will help you overcome challenges or achieve the results you are looking for. Select which exhibitors you want to talk to. Decide how much time you want to spend with each and create a route that brings you from one to the next as quickly as possible.
2. Prioritize showtime activities that match the outcome you are looking for
Draw up a list of questions that will help you determine whether you have found what you are looking for. If multiple exhibitors have the same product offering, include questions that will help you to differentiate. These may relate to whether the product is easy to use, whether it can be upgraded, or perhaps the company’s support & service capabilities. Schedule appointments with exhibitors that are on your MUST DO list.
3. Don’t miss out on opportunities
A logistic trade show brings together logistics professionals. Is there anyone in particular you are keen to meet up with? Networking events tend to fill up fast, so book your space now. Are there friends you want to catch up with who may be attending? Give them a call and make a date for drinks or dinner.
Are there any keynote speakers you desperately want to hear? Plan your route so you arrive in plenty of time to attend seminars, if this is important to you.
4. Remember you’re at work
From the time you leave your home to the time you return, you’re at work. Everyone you meet will identify you with the company you represent. Dress as you would for work and behave with everyone you meet as you would with a potential customer. Speaking of which, remember to have a small supply of business cards with you. Make notes of news that may be of interest to your colleagues and share when you get back to work.
5. Look after yourself
Once you’ve decided to attend, book your hotel, flights & rental car. Some hotels have special concession rates or show deals. Consider travel time between hotel and the exhibition center. Some hotels run a shuttle, or it may be feasible to walk. Whether you are alone or with a group of colleagues, registering on-line saves time.
During the whole showtime, you will walk more than usual. Walking on concrete can make your feet, legs & back extremely sore, so make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Don’t forget to drink water. Get a small water bottle and carry it with you, refilling from the tap. A packet of throat lozengers in your pocket will help if you get a dry tickle during the day. Ask for information to be sent to you, so you don’t have to carry stacks of literature.