How to Attend a Tradeshow and Get More Out of it
Tradeshow Tips for Visitors
We’ve all been to tradeshows before and dealt with tired knees, too make fake smiles and conversations that you just weren’t into, so I get it why you wouldn’t jump at going to another show. With that said, here’s the deal, going to a show is typically the best way to get down to the meat of what you are trying to find information on. The key to managing a show is doing research before you get there. Determine what you want to get out of the show first is the best place to start.
Tradeshows generally are full of lots of different service providers, vendors and exhibitors, so one of the biggest mistakes that tradeshow attendees make is they go into a room full of people trying to sell them something and they get sucked into a bunch of unwarranted presentations that aren’t relevant to what they are there for. Take for example a franchise show, where the exhibitors are franchisors who are presenting their business model and what they have to offer. If you are in the market for a technology related franchise and you get stuck listening to presentation on sign and graphics franchises, it will be annoying, tiring and probably won’t help you get the information you came for. Too many of these presentations often make the entire experience uninteresting and many times people leave the show having never gotten the information they came to the show to begin with!
The second thing to consider before attending a tradeshow is to develop a plan for how to approach the show and who to go speak with when you get there. Most shows offer a directory listing of who will be exhibiting there and what brands would be relevant to your search. Again, let’s take the franchise show as the example, if you are looking for technology franchises, there will certainly be technology franchises who will be exhibiting at the show. Put them on your list and make a schedule of when you plan to visit each booth. Keep in mind that there may be other franchises or exhibitors that might be offering something that could be of value to you in starting a new business such as POS Systems, Marketing Services, Digital Marketing companies and other vendors that might be relevant to you in your search of a technology franchise.
The third thing to consider before you visit a show is what type of information you would like to get out of the show. Determine this up front and you can then organize your questions. Too often, visitors come to a show and get caught up in conversation with people and forget to obtain the key information they came for. If this is organized, you can also take notes while at the show and then compare when you get back home. Collecting brochures and free giveaways at the show doesn’t count as being your way of collecting information on the booths you visit.
All together, make the show fun, enjoyable and a positive experience, but remember why you left your couch to go there and be sure to get something done. Otherwise, you may as well have stayed home and continue to watch TV. 😉