5 great tips for conference organisers attending trade shows

Let’s face it, attending trade shows and exhibitions can be pretty exhausting. All those stands trying to get your attention amounts, countless conversations and heaps of literature. Albeit in a very nice new fabric branded bag, which by the end of the day becomes more of a burden than a help!

Once you’ve spoken to so many suppliers and venues, it’s tricky to remember all the ones that piqued your interest.

So, to make that next exhibition all that much easier for you, here’s my top five tips for ‘acing it’ as a visitor and come away feeling you’ve got the most out of the day.

1. Do your research before the day

Grab a trade show map online, get doodling and make a plan. If you know who you’d like to see highlight these and plan a route so you can make sure you don’t miss seeing them. Make sure you keep an eye out though on route, for any stands that do enough to stop you in your tracks.

2. Print/email out some handouts

Going from stand -to-stand, you quickly end up repeating yourself a lot! Explaining who you are, what you do and the types of events you plan throughout the year… Even if you don’t have specifics, it can be so useful for venues and suppliers to know how to approach you after the show. If you print out or have an email ready with the type of events/locations/numbers etc. you plan for and it saves you saying the same thing over and again!

3. Go digital and save the weight

Those lovely branded canvas bags are very tempting but try not to take too much literature home with you. Why not utilise your phone and take a photo of every stand that has been of interest and the relevant literature. Light weight business card swaps are perfect for after show follow ups and those all-important prize draws! After the show, use the photos to follow the suppliers/venues on social media. It’s the best way to keep updated on special offers & news

4. Get social

Get linking, tweet and Instagram using the event hashtags, check-in on Facebook and comment on other peoples’ content. You’ll quickly join useful conversations and stay in touch with relevant suppliers. LinkedIn is a great tool for before and after the show as you will already know the face of anyone you’d like to seek out and afterwards a great way of staying in the know and growing your social network.

5. Research additional shows

Make sure you know the best events you should attend, some of the smaller ones are the better ones. For example, BNC is an absolute gem of a show and yet I have spoken to quite a number of event planners that don’t know of it – they attend for the first time and it’s their favourite straight away! This blog gives you a full calendar for 2018 events for event planners

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Tips and Tricks written by Donna Miller