With so many people, panels, and exhibitors, the opportunities can quickly become overwhelming
Whether you’re looking to exhibit or to attend, committing to two or three eight-hour days of conferences and trade shows can be intimidating. With so many people to meet, panels to attend, and exhibitors to shop, the opportunities can quickly become overwhelming. After years of experience both hosting and attending conferences and trade shows, we decided to compile a list of tips and tricks for you to make any conference or trade show an easy and enjoyable experience.
Network, Network, Network
One of the primary reasons people attend conferences and/or trade shows is the opportunity to make valuable, lasting relationships with like-minded professionals in your industry. Thousands of people convene under one roof to discuss a common interest. So why not chat with as many as possible?
Tricks for Attendee: The beauty of a conference and trade show is that everyone is there for the same reason. Everyone is interested in learning how to grow and better their business and in making valuable business connections; YOU could be the person with the skills, products or services they are looking for. While waiting for panel sessions to start, introduce yourself to the person to your left and right. Make sure to attend all networking or happy hour events. Be outgoing in the various lines you may have to wait in (badge pick-up, coffee, lunch, etc.). Connect with other attendees at the booths you visit – you likely have similar business needs!
Tricks for Exhibitor: Who would you rather talk to: the person sitting behind a table, staring at their phone or the person having a lively conversation and laughing? The latter, of course! As an exhibitor, it is absolutely imperative that you be outgoing with attendees. Draw them into your booth, engage them in conversation, learn about their businesses and challenges so you can deliver solutions to help them succeed. The most popular booths create a unique experience for their guests. For example, in exchange for contact information, you could raffle off one of your products. This is a great way to draw your prospective customers to your booth. Everyone at a trade show wants to talk, but as the exhibitor, it’s up to you to create a welcoming atmosphere within the pipe and draped walls of your booth to attract your buyers.
Pro Tip: You Can Never Have Too Many Business Cards
There’s nothing worse than making that perfect connection and then realizing you have no business cards at the ready. Your business cards allow you to quickly exchange contact information and in an environment with so many faces and places, this small detail is key – not to mention it displays your professionalism. So trust us, stock up on business cards before the event. Give them, take them; business cards are your friend.
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