10 Tips for Getting the Most out of Attending an Event!

Attending a trade show is an important aspect of your business plan. It is a great opportunity to rejuvenate your creative batteries, meet new colleagues, and catch up with old friends. It is also a great chance to learn and see what other top industry professionals are accomplishing and creating. Whether you are a first time attendee or a seasoned professional, here are a few general guidelines to help you make the most out of your visit:

  1. Have a Plan — Why are you attending? Are you here to network? Learn? Buy? Sell? Knowing what you want to get out of the Expo is half the battle.
  2. Pace Yourself — There will probably be more things to do than one can fit into a few days. Read the show guide and plan which seminars you want to attend, which exhibitors you must see, and what events are tops on your list, but don’t over extend yourself. Set a realistic schedule.
  3. Get Your Name Out There — Make sure people get to know you and what you do. Wear your name badge everywhere you go. Also carry lots and lots of business cards. People remember little things about meeting someone at an expo and refer back to business cards months, even years, after a conference. “I once met someone from Tuscaloosa, that did events…where is that business card?” And Bingo!
  4. Don’t be Shy — Meet as many people as you can possibly meet. Walk up to total strangers, and introduce yourself, but be sincere in why you want to meet them. Find something in common with the person. Don’t just walk around handing out business cards and shaking hands in a flurry.
  5. Be Comfortable — “Business casual” has taken on an assorted standard in the business world, so remember that being comfortable can make all the difference between having a good time and being miserable at the Expo. And consider that you will be on your feet a great deal, walking the show floor and to seminar rooms, so be prepared with comfortable shoes and even better…more than one pair! Changing shoes helps keep feet happy.
  6. Know Your Surroundings — Get to know where you are, especially if it is your first time to this particular city, hotel, and convention center. If you get to the show early, learn where registration is, the show floor, meeting rooms and even the closest restroom. This will help if you are running a few minutes late in the morning, as well as allow you to arrange rendezvous locations with colleagues.
  7. Positioning — Learn where people gather. One of the best places to run into someone is the hotel bar. Now this doesn’t mean you have to be drinking all the time, but invariably you will see someone you know or meet someone new who is also attending the show.
  8. Personal Time — Schedule a few minutes for yourself. Schmoozing, taking seminar notes, talking to exhibitors, and attending events is exhausting. Don’t over do it! Plan a night out to dinner with one or two colleagues, or schedule some time in the fitness room for yourself. You will feel better, retain more and won’t be a zombie when you return to your office.
  9. Capture the Moment — I once went to an industry seminar where the speaker said, “Steal every idea you see!” This was incredible advice. Take notes at the events, seminars and on the show floor; better still, bring a camera to capture the magical things you see—the Event Solutions Expo is notorious for generating new event planning ideas and inspirations!
  10. Have Fun! — Spending your time wisely, being patient, and enjoying what you are doing will have a much more positive impact on the entire experience.

Leave a Reply