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You’ve spent lots of time and effort concentrating on how to be the very best exhibitor. But are you prepared to be an attendee?

Getting the most out of a trade show requires careful preparation, you need a battle planWith an important task in hand – attending an exhibition, planning becomes even more important. To get the most from attending a trade show, you have to have a clear strategy in mind. Knowing what you need to accomplish before, during, and after the show is the first step toward success.

Ultimately, you want to answer two questions :

1) What should I expect when I visit this exhibition?

2) Should I go see this exhibition?

Below Is The List Of Some Tips For Attending An Exhibition.

Before the Show :

  1. Set clear objectives – define what you are hoping to achieve from the event. Know what you want to achieve by visiting the show. If your company / employer is sending you to the exhibition; understand what your boss wants you to achieve by attending the show.
  2. Develop a plan of which exhibitors you want to visit and then organize your list into two parts – “must see”  and “want to see”.
  3. Do your homework; make a note of the companies you want to visit, visit their websites, networking events and conference sessions. In the exhibitors’ catalog find the location of companies you are interested in. Check the programme of events to attend, most suitable for you.
  4. Register in advance. Different shows have different policies and pricing structures; you may be able to save money by registering early. Some shows only want qualified buyers, media people, and experts. Others simply require that you register online.
  5. Decide how much time you want to spend at the show and then at each booth. Allow extra time for browsing, distractions and waiting in lines. Develop a plan to maximize your visit, especially at large shows.
  6. Pack comfortable shoes and clothing to wear on the show floor. Walking in shows can be extremely tiring.
  7. Make travel and hotel bookings as early as possible. Hotels are often booked up months in advance of the shows. Check the event website for discounted accommodation rates.
  8. Stay at the hotel associated with the event. It’s usually more expensive, but most of the retailers and buyers will be staying there because it’s convenient.

At the Show :

  1. Revise your plan at the show. The show directory and schedule often changes several times before a show.
  2. Skip overly crowded booths and plan to come at end of day when traffic is slower. If you approach the booth when it’s busy, the chances of you getting into the right person are slim. But don’t wait until the last day, because some companies will have taken off by then.
  3. Make sure you pick up a floor plan at an entrance of the exhibition.  It’s essential for finding who is where in the exhibition, plus it means you can keep a track of which stands and special spaces  you have visited. You can find there some information about the accompanying events.
  4. Carry a pad and pen to jot down important notes, or have small tape recorder for note taking.
  5. Look for networking opportunities. Network with industry leaders. Get invited to exhibitors hospitality suites / receptions. At workshops introduce yourself to people around you – hand out / collect business cards. Hook up with new contacts at mealtimes for added information.
  6. Arrive early for free seminars – many are offered on a first come, first served basis.
  7. Add value to your visit by attending ‘continuing education’ sessions (if any).
  8. Always make sure to get a card. It’s not enough to give someone your information.

After the Show :

  1. After the show, catch up on any missed conference sessions by downloading podcasts and webcasts from the event website.
  2. Take a moment after the show to make note of any exhibits or displays that you thought were particularly effective.
  3. Follow up. Once you have someone’s card, you must follow up. Be sure to follow up with new contacts and vendors after the show. Having a clear plan of action will make sure that the time you spent at the show was a worthwhile investment.
  4. Plan how you are going to implement information gathered.

 

Attending an exhibition show is an opportunity. Its upto the visitor how it is capitalized upon.