With ICBA, Camex, and regional trade shows approaching it’s time to prepare for college retail trade show season. Follow these 11 tips to make the most out of the trade show’s you attend.
- Dress in layers! Temperatures vary widely in convention centers, not to mention you may work up a sweat walking around.
- Pack too many business cards. Trade shows are the place to network with vendors, resellers, and distributors. You can never have too many business cards!
- Strategize beforehand. Get a copy of the exhibit hall map and plan out your approach for the trade show. This will help you maximize your time to see as many booths as you can.
- Set goals. You are at a trade show for a reason, if you are there to network make a goal of connecting with at least 3 new people a day
Working the floor
- So you have a lot of business cards with you right? Now is the time to use them. So give your business card to your favorite DSC employee, enter contests, and network.
- Make notes on the back of business cards you collect to remind you to follow up.
- If you take a supplier’s giveaway, have a conversation and learn more about their business.
Make Meaningful Connections
- Get out of your comfort zone and sit next to new people. It’s fun to hangout with your co-workers and friends, but when you are surrounded by likeminded professionals, chances are you will make a few friends.
- Write a report to other managers or your team; explain the value of the conference, what you learned, and new products.
- Organize business cards you received and follow up with e-mails, thank-you notes, or promised information as soon as possible. Don’t let important contacts you made slip away.
- Take some time to digest the information from the trade show, review your notes and make an action plan to apply the information you learned at the sessions.