Planning ahead is just as important for trade show attendees as it is for the exhibitor. Attendees have to make sure they are getting the most value out of attending. Planning ahead can eliminate the risk of mass confusion. Make the most out of time spent at a trade show.
Before you attend the show you need to know what new product lines you are most interested in and what you’d like to purchase. Knowing your company’s finances is vital to staying within budget. Take advantage of all discounts and special offers at the tradeshow while you can.
Visit all booths that offer the products you are looking for and then compare vendors. It is important to get as much information about each vendor while visiting their booth, otherwise there will be no comparing. Setting an appointment with a vendor is a smart way to seek out information for comparison; it gives you their undivided attention. If it is possible, ask vendors to send you information rather than carrying it around the show. Usually, if you carry it around it ends up lost or in the trash. It may also benefit your company to bring along any employees who could learn from the experience.
Be prepared and bring a flash drive with all artwork if you plan on purchasing any custom work. That way you can show the vendor what they will be working with.
Most importantly network, network, network. Don’t be shy, one key function of the trade show industry is to interact with one another face to face. Bring plenty of business cards to hand out at the show as well.