Trade Show 101: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Summer is here, and that means that trade show season is upon us! The ReadyCare team loves attending these wonderful events; as we look forward to connecting with customers and industry friends. We also know that if you’re attending a trade show, they can be both exciting and overwhelming, with the music, crowds and enthusiastic vendors vying for your attention it can quickly distract from your purpose. Even the most savvy trade show attendee can get home and find that they have missed something they wanted to see. So we have gathered up some helpful tips about the best ways we have found to successfully navigate the landscape of each show you attend this season.

1. Set Your Goals
Setting goals prior to the show helps prioritize and organize your focus. Here are a few important questions to get your mind tradeshow ready.

  • What do you hope to accomplish during your time at the show? Are there any specific vendors you wish to network with, any classes you’d like to attend, and speakers you’d like to see? Or any products or services you are especially interested in knowing more about?
  • Do you have specific questions you need answers to, or problems that need to be solved? Writing these down prior to the trade show helps ensure you receive all the information you need.

2. Balance Your Time
Time spent at trade shows are broken down into three categories; attending classes, seeking out vendors and discovering new things. Creating a personal tradeshow plan helps to navigate each day with ease and purpose.

  • Start your plan with the speakers or classes you’d like to attend as these times are set. Begin by writing them down by date, time blocks and locations.
  • Follow by adding in the vendors that you’d like to or need to see. Have the show floor map handy for this (this is typically found on the show website prior to the event). Start by adding the vendors you’d like to see that are located close your seminars around your seminar times. Then start to branch out to ensure that you see everyone without too much distance in between booths.
  • Finally, add in other vendor locations that you are interested in. You are mapping out YOUR show! When you are finished you will have a clear plan of who you’d like to see and will have created a map that takes advantage of every second.

3. Be Social
Trade shows gather the best in the industry and showcase innovative new products and services in interesting, entertaining ways.

  • Make the most of your trade show experience by seeking out networking opportunities with industry leaders and brand influencers in your field. The festive atmosphere creates plenty of opportunities for unique, memorable interactions.
  • Networking events usually take place in the evenings, booking a hotel close to the show is helpful for quick clothing changes. If your hotel is a distance away, be sure to bring a change of shoes and freshen up supplies with you.

4. Share Your Experience
Upon your return, you’ll want to share with the people at home what you have learned about new industry trends, exciting new products, and new items that you have acquired.

  • Taking notes in a notepad or on the back of vender’s business cards is helpful in keeping information together.
  • One of the most helpful ways is to create an outline of your report prior to the show, your mapped out show guide will be helpful in creating an outline. Bring it with you and while at the show, fill in the notes as you are meeting with vendors or attending classes. This is one way to enjoy a show, gather information and write a report in one step.

Tradeshows are the best “workations” that you can have. While it seems silly, don’t forget to breathe, smile and leave yourself open to the new experiences that every tradeshow will bring. And always be sure to drop by the ReadyCare and Pure Fiji booths to say hello! We always have great things to share.