Whether it is your first time going to an industry event like IRCE, IRWD, eTail, or Shop.org or if you are a seasoned veteran of trade shows, it is always important to have a game plan in order to get the most out of your time.
Attending a trade show can sometimes appear daunting, there are so many exhibitors, sessions, networking opportunities that it can seem like too much. It is important to do your research to make sure you are attending the right conferences and plan your time in a manner that will help you get the most out of it.
Why Should You Attend?
Even if your business is new, small, growing, or large the benefits of attending an industry trade show are many. These conferences, whether they be vendor driven or industry associations, are developed to give retailers the opportunity to meet vendors, conduct meetings, and network with vendors and other business owners to learn and get ideas.
Trade shows can be the perfect place for you to:
- Research new vendors
- Meeting vendors face to face, seeing their marketing collateral, and speaking to their experts can help you gain trust and get a better idea of what they have to offer.
- Learn from experts in sessions and on the floor
- Meet with others in the industry to pass advice and learn
Remember those family vacations that were so structured you knew where you had to be and what you were doing every hour on the hour? That’s how your schedule should look when you are planning to attend a trade show.
- Knowing what you need – for example is important – if you are looking for a new SEO company, the best thing to do is to research all of the SEO companies that will be there, so you avoid companies that may not offer what you need at this time
At the Show
- Make sure your name badge is plain site
- Bring plenty of business cards
- Be outgoing, the more people you talk to, the more you learn
- Attend the sessions you wanted to go to, keep to your plan
- Try and spend you time with companies you want to do business with. Try to not waste time with companies that do not offer what you are looking for. However, if you notice a company that you may not have known much about, don’t hesitate to stop by to see if they are a good option.
- Take good notes about companies and people you have spoken with. It will make your after-show a lot less stressful.
After the Show
Review your notes about the vendors you have spoken with. Make time to speak with vendors who made an impact. Look at their collateral, their website, and speak to their team again to complete the conversation you started at the trade show.
Also, look at your plan of action. Analyze it to see if you got the most out of attending, this will make.
Exclusive Concepts will be at eTail in Boston August 8-10th at Booth 41, a Patron Sponsor of the Yahoo! Merchant Summit on August 9-10th, and at Shop.org in September. We look forward to seeing everyone there. Make sure to stop by our booth to learn how we can help you accelerate your revenue without the overhead.