A trade show is a place where all kinds of vendors and representatives from industries come together. It’s an opportunity for these companies to promote their goods, services, or ideas with other attendees in attendance. Usually, there are plenty of activities on hand as well.
Trade shows can be a great opportunity to network with other professionals in your industry. It’s also a chance to learn about the latest trends and products. However, there are some things you should know before the process becomes overwhelming. Here are 15 trade show attendee tips.
The Top 15 Trade Show Attendee Tips
Before a trade show, familiarize yourself with locations and take note of restrooms as well as anything else you would like to know before attending the event. Below are some helpful trade show tips for attendees to keep in mind.
- Check the event schedule before you go.
Check the schedule of events before you go to the trade show. You may find that one or more of them conflict, and you will not be able to go to both (and will need to make a last-minute decision at the show). Or, you might see a great session on a new technology that you want to learn more about – and then want to participate in that session. If you register online ahead of time, it is very quick and easy. Most shows have their sign-up capability on their website
- Get there early, but not too early.
If you want to make the most of your show time, try setting up an hour before the show officially starts. Get your booth set up and if you do not have any products or inventory, take that time to network with other vendors. That way, you will not feel rushed running back and forth, making last-minute preparations.
- Dress and act professionally.
When you’re at a trade show, there are many ways to make a good impression. Your goal should be to build your credibility with the people you meet. This may mean dressing conservatively, using proper etiquette, being informed about your product or service, and addressing the questions or concerns of your customer’s questions or concerns of your customers.
- Bring a water bottle.
Trade shows can get really hot, especially shows that are using bright lighting for their booths. Don’t forget to take a break every once in a while and hydrate yourself, especially if you have a booth that’s far away from the water cooler or restrooms.
- Bring your business cards.
Business cards are a vital part of networking or making contacts with others. When you go to events such as industry conferences or trade shows, leave your business cards with your contact information with potential business connections. Then if someone wants to meet up later, they can contact you, and you can make arrangements to meet with them.
- Keep an open mind.
Be open to experimenting with new things. Remember, this is your best chance to learn whether or not a product or service can work for you. You don’t want to miss out on an opportunity that could potentially change how your business operates.
Before attending any trade show, make sure that you are familiar with the companies exhibiting there. Networking will be much easier if you are familiar with the exhibitors at the event.
- Follow up with the clients from your networks.
When you connect with potential clients, don’t forget to follow up after the show. Send them a thank you via email and social media. A simple reminder to check out your booth and consider your company for an order will help maintain your visibility and yield additional sales.
Also, while at the show, take numerous pictures of your booth and products, and post them on your website and social media immediately after the show.
- Don’t forget to eat.
It’s important to remember that you can’t go all day without eating. You need to eat something at least halfway through the day to give yourself a boost. Carry a healthy snack, like a protein bar, with you; that way, you will have a convenient way to keep your energy level up, and you will be able to focus on networking opportunities.
- Keep your booth tidy at all times.
Trade show booths must stay organized and clean to keep your booth’s ‘show’ aspect alive. It’s hard enough to attract visitors to your booth – don’t turn them away with a messy layout. A small trash can and stackable caddie will help keep your space clean and tidy.
- Manage your time well.
Balance your time as a trade show attendee by setting a specific amount of time to spend walking the aisles, discussing products and services with attendees, operating your booth, and attending presentations at the conference.
The exhibit staff can set up your booth if you haven’t arrived yet, freeing you to take advantage of important networking opportunities. In between conversations with attendees, take breaks for food and relax in the hospitality suite. Make sure that you manage your time well to get the most out of the trade show experience.
- Share your thoughts with others.
Walk around the show to network and connect with fellow attendees and exhibitors. Put your business card on the event app to connect with those you may not have had the chance to talk to face-to-face. Engage in informal conversations about their business and your needs while sharing information about your business.
- Stay motivated.
After dedicating hours upon hours at a trade show, it is pretty common to get tired and start feeling a little down. This happens from all the talking and walking around. Don’t let that get to you – keep pushing! You’re doing a great job, and your hard work will pay off.
- Do some exercise.
Most people don’t realize just how much daily stress is created by the constant changes in schedule and working environment when attending a trade show. The body releases adrenaline when it encounters stressful situations, and you need to let your body clear out this adrenaline so that you can return to a relaxed state.
Exercising at times throughout your day is one way to reset your body and maintain a more positive attitude throughout your trade show visit. If you have a regular gym schedule, try to maintain it in your hotel’s gym or a facility nearby. Even just taking a walk outside during your break will help you feel a bit more balanced.
- Take advantage of great deals offered at the trade show.
Attending a tradeshow is a great way to network and do business. It is also a great time to come across some amazing deals and discounts that you might not find anywhere else. Take note of these offered discounts – if you can’t accept them right away, be sure to reach out to that company after the trade show to see if they’re still offering that deal for trade show attendees.
- Take short breaks
Trade shows can be a great way to generate more business, but they can quickly turn into a source of stress and exhaustion. Try setting up a mini-retreat in an unused conference room during lunch hour. Set up an area in the corner of the main convention hall with room for you to sit comfortably.
6 Extra Trade Show Booth Success Tips
- Don’t forget to charge your phone! You’re at a trade show, and there is so much going on around you. Make sure you have enough battery life for the day ahead of time by charging before entering crowded spaces.
- Always keep your smile on. Trade show booths can be draining. You’re stuck in one place, and it’s hard not to get bored or stressed out when there are so many people around you that all want something from you. Don’t forget to keep a positive attitude and keep smiling!
- A trade show can be overwhelming with new people and information, so it is important not to forget the little things. From your business cards and display to name tags and water bottles, these small details help you stand out from everyone else. Whether you are attending a trade show for the first time or are an old pro, there are some important things to keep in mind.
- Remember to dress comfortably during long days on your feet. Bring comfortable shoes (and other necessities) like water bottles, snacks, phone chargers – don’t forget about sunscreen, too, since you will likely spend hours outdoors each day.
- Set realistic expectations. This is especially true for how many people you want to meet at the event so as not to get too overwhelmed by crowds.
We hope these tips will help make your next trade show experience enjoyable and productive. After all, it should be one of the best opportunities to connect with new prospects and find potential buyers that can take care of your company’s marketing needs.
It’s in the name! Everything Tradeshows is your one-stop shop for all things trade shows, including booth purchases, booth rentals, and complete brand management services. Ready to get started? Have questions? Get in touch by calling us at (954) 791-8882 or by filling out the form below. We can’t wait to hear from you!