How to Get the Most Out of Walking a Trade Show

So you’ve paid for a trade show – how do you get what you want while there?

Read below for the important tips and tricks we have compiled to help you do just that.

Before the Show:

Spend time prior to the show creating an ideal schedule.  Familiarize yourself with the exhibitors; learn what they can do for your company and make appointments with those that stand out.  Also, get a diagram of the floor and a schedule of activities so you know what you will be doing throughout the day. Have a goal that you want to accomplish, such as which vendors to visit and your purpose for attending the trade show. Finally, prepare your company’s “elevator speech” so that you may correctly convey to the vendors what it is you need in just a few short minutes.  An elevator speech is a short introduction of your company, explanation of your needs, and request for solutions. Being prepared in advance will help you feel more comfortable upon entering the trade show.

During the Show:

Time to network!  Sometimes at the beginning of the show there is an informational session during which keynote speakers, and often times the president of the trade association, will update you on what is happening in the industry.  This is a great opportunity for you to get an idea of the successes and challenges from the industry’s perspective.

Now it is time to get down to business.  Make sure you have obtained an updated map and schedule, as well as items for note taking.  Business cards are also a great way to connect with others as you walk the trade show.  As you move from booth to booth, network with exhibitors who you know can help you.  If possible, request literature and samples be mailed instead of having to carry them with you. Don’t forget to take advantage of show specials, discounts, and sales. Following your schedule is important but don’t forget to leave some free time to wander the show.

After the Show:

Remember, you went to the trade show with a purpose. Expect phone calls and make sure you answer them. They will keep calling until you do, so review your notes and be straight forward with the vendor. If the answer is no, tell them why. If you have chosen another vendor, say so. And if you need additional information, ask for it.  Determine the success of your attendance at the trade show by evaluating what the cost and time to achieve the same amount of business would have been.  Would you attend the same trade show again?

Important things to remember:

Check to see if the trade show has reserved hotel rooms at a discount, if so, this is often your best option. Wear business casual clothing and comfortable shoes.  Also, do not linger too long at each booth and don’t stay in a conversation with a company in which you are not interested in doing business.

If you plan on attending the TOC Conference and Showcase in Fargo, North Dakota on the 14th and 15th of May, stop by booth 109, where Lattice Communications will be set up.  Look for the whiskey girl to enter to win a bottle of Cedar Ridge Whiskey, made in Iowa. We will also have a product specialist on hand to answer your questions about the industry and our company. We have a variety of giveaways including hats, t-shirts and stress balls.  See you there!

Stop by next week when we discuss the importance of backup generators and businesses that benefit from them.

Our Trade Show booth at RSI/CMA 2012Image

2 thoughts on “How to Get the Most Out of Walking a Trade Show

  1. Pingback: The Lattice Sales Team: Growing Relationships and Serving Your Needs -

  2. Pingback: Internal Spotlight: Mike Brems & Eric Benson | A Concrete Understanding

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