With all the tradeshows out there, you can spend thousands of dollars and many weeks a year attending shows in your industry, just to find out that you’ve wasted your time and money. But with a bit of research and targeting, it is easy to maximize both your spend and your time.
1) Only Attend the Top Shows: Though these shows offer a less intimate experience and can be more expensive than the smaller shows, they give you the opportunity to review more vendors and products in a shorter amount of time. Even the specialized vendors understand the importance of the larger shows and will surely be there.
2) Map Your Path: It is easy to spend hours wandering aimlessly at a show, so to maximize your time by reviewing the floor map in advance and map a route to the main vendors that interest you. You will certainly stumble upon additional vendors along the way, but the focus of your route will ensure you get the information you came for.
3) Take Brochures and Notes: You won’t be able to remember everyone you meet or everything you see, so keep a pen and paper handy to take notes as you go. One great idea is to use large sticky-notes that you can attach to the brochures you pick up along your way. And don’t forget binder clips to group together the take-homes from each vendor.
4) Network with the Worthy: Though it may be easy to become distracted by the scantily-clad Promo Models and flashy displays, but remind yourself that neither of these distractions will help with real networking. While the other attendees are preoccupied by the glitz, spend time talking to booth’s lead individual, who can often be picked out by his clothes and technical knowhow.
With these helpful tips, you won’t need to attend every show in the book, saving yourself untold time and money, while still gaining the knowledge and relationships to help your business grow. Don’t waste another minute wandering around, wondering “why do I even go to these things”, when you could be establishing lifelong relationships for your company.