When it comes to branching out with your business ties, creating new connections, expanding your clientele, and exploring new opportunities for your company, attending a trade show is a great way to meet other contributors in your field and make meaningful partnerships.
If you've never been to this kind of event before, it might seem overwhelming or overcrowded, and you might not know how to walk a trade show or make the most of all the opportunities it offers. To make sure your trade show experience is successful for your company, here are six trade show tips for attendees.
The number of booths and other companies attending a trade show might be intimidating and leave you not knowing where to start when you walk in, so make sure you're prepared with some knowledge of the other companies ahead of time.
Check the trade show or venue website to see a list of the companies attending. Then, research the companies and make a list of which ones you're interested in talking to. Doing a little research will help you streamline your experience and connect with the companies you're most interested in — rather than searching around aimlessly.
Cocktail hours or after-party events typically accompany trade shows, and many of the attending companies or vendors will be staying overnight to set up and stick around.
If you want to maximize your connections or make more conversation with exciting companies, booking a stay at the hotel hosting the trade show is a great way to get more involved with your contacts. Plus, it's convenient for multi-day trade shows or if you have a long travel time home.
Just like you should research attending companies ahead of time, you should plan ahead to map out — and stick to — the route you want to take at the trade show. Find a map detailing the locations vendors will be set up, find the companies you're most interested in and make sure to visit them first.
If you have extra time after you talk to your priority vendors, you can visit others you have a secondary interest in or wander a little and see what else you find. But until then, knowing where your target companies are ahead of time will help you get the most out of your attendance. If a booth is exceptionally busy, visit the next on your list and circle back when the crowd clears out a little — you don't want to waste any time.
Like any business meeting, make sure your attire is appropriate, attractive and neat — business formal or smart business casual might be best, depending on the scale of the event and the kind of industries it involves. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, though — you'll be doing a lot of walking!
When talking to companies, it's essential to have each other's information, so make sure you bring plenty of business cards — but only hand them out to the contacts you're most serious about, and make sure to ask for their business cards, as well.
You want to remember the details of the companies you speak to, so bring a notebook and respectfully write down a couple of sentences to remember the key points of your discussion and your level of interest in each company.
When it comes to successful trade shows, no venue is better equipped than Spooky Nook Meetings & Events. Designed to accommodate business meetings, events, and trade shows of any size, we have more than 700,000 square feet of event space to suit every unique occasion. Contact us to learn more about PA trade shows today.
Topics: meetings and events