Last week, we covered tips and tricks for pre-trade show planning
. This week, we have you covered on the do's and don'ts during a show.
During the Show Trade Show Tips:
1. Don’t completely disconnect.
Work doesn’t stop just because you’re out of the office – take advantage of available wireless cafes between sessions to catch up on e-mail, or arrive fashionably late to the cocktail hour to listen to a few voicemails. While it would be nice to forget about what’s going on back home, checking in periodically will save you the stress of having to catch up when you get back – and reassure your boss that you’re not just looking for a free trip out of the office for a few days.
2. Pay attention to booth tours and giveaways.
Why not take advantage of giveaways and contests? Most trade shows sponsor booth tours as a way to encourage attendees to explore the exhibit hall. Not only could you walk away with a new iPad or Wii, but you might find a fabulous new vendor you wouldn’t normally visit.
3. Keep a notepad nearby.
Analog or digital, it matters not – but have a place to jot things down: notes from course sessions, names of vendors to contact post event, best practices to implement and hot topics and trends to keep an eye on. This will help jog your memory when debriefing with your boss, and serve as the foundation for action items when you get back home.
4. Look for product demos.
Trade shows are the perfect opportunity to see products and equipment in action – it’s the ideal environment to ask questions, find out of a product can be integrated into your existing IT infrastructure, and get the advice of other attendees already familiar with the product.
Or at least log in to Twitter to track the event’s hashtag. Vendors often advertise giveaways, special deals and product demo information. Trade show staff might send updates on course sessions or a link to speaker presentations. Attendees could tweet the inside scoop on a speaker, booth event or even venue tips (like where you can find a cheap late-night snack). Even if you choose not to tweet, just following the timeline can prove helpful.
At the end of the day, it’s about engaging in your surroundings. Make the most out of your trade show experience by participating as much as possible: ask questions during educational sessions, enter in a giveaway or two, visit with vendors and chat it up with attendees. The more information you can collect, the better – you can sort it all out when you get home (but we’ll get more into that next week).