For the earlier part of this week, we were at the The National Beer Wholesalers Association’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas. Conventions like this one are always a great way to bring in new business and connect with past clients. Now that we’re back from the hustle & bustle, we wanted to share 5 tips that we find helpful for each convention and think you will too. Preparing in advance will help you be more productive, things will tend to go more smoothly and efficiently. Make all of your time worth it!
#1: Get a good map of the show floor.
Most likely, the trade show you are attending will offer a map ahead of time. Get one. Check out where each of your desirable vendors will be and plan the most efficient route for your time at the tradeshow.
#2: Make a schedule.
It’s important. Before you make a schedule, be sure that all of your appointments [if needed] are set. Then, make yourself a schedule including each vendor on your efficient route. Always give yourself more time than you think. Extra time will come in handy if you run into someone or have conversations with vendors that run over. In your schedule, try to leave time at the end of the tradeshow/convention to perhaps grab dinner or drinks with fellow attendees…this is a great way to network! You might also use this time to do some homework after the show [comparing notes, reviewing each vendor you saw and getting ideas together for possible orders so that you can be sure to take advantage of those great tradeshow/convention specials].
#3: Set appointments ahead of time.
Depending on the vendor, you may need to set up an appointment. Make sure you do your research to find out if you do. The earlier you do this, the better. That way, you know you won’t miss them and you can get a preferred time. It’s best to get the first or the last appointment of the day so that you can plan the rest of your time out. If you have to make more than 1 appointment, make sure to leave some time in between incase there is any run over.
#4: Create a checklist.
Plan ahead. With a checklist, you will have all of your must-see vendors and must-do events during the tradeshow/convention. This way you won’t miss out. Keep your checklist close by and refer to it periodically throughout the day to make sure you are keeping up. The night before the last day, review your checklist. You may feel the need to re-prioritize your day.
#5: Be prepared
Good things to pack for the tradeshow or convention might be: extra comfy clothes and shoes, an extra bag to carry products/catalogs/merchandise in, your own branded gear, business cards, a name badge, a budget and of course, pack a smile!