If you’ve never visited to a trade show before, it can be a bit overwhelming. When you enter into the building, there are typically hundreds of suppliers and other people looking to network. If you aren’t prepared for this type of environment, then you might not get the most out of your time at the show. Here are some tasks you can complete before, during, and after the show to ensure the trip is worthwhile.

How to Prepare Before the Show

☑️ Pre-Register

Most trade shows will allow you to pre-register. If this option is available, it is highly recommended. This will save you from standing in a line for hours before entering the show. Another benefit is that it’s often free if you pre-register but will cost you considerably more if you turn up on the day.

☑️ Research

The more prepared ahead of time you can be, the better. Trade shows will publish a list of exhibitors online before the event is live. You can use this information to review who will be there, make a list of who you would like to visit with, and make note of where they are on the map. Knowing this information ahead of time will save you from wasting loads of time aimlessly wandering around.

☑️ Book Appointments

Many exhibitors will allow you to contact them ahead of time to schedule a meeting on the show day. If you’re looking to keep a tight schedule, having appointments will give your day more structure. If you do choose to book appointments, be sure to schedule them realistically. Double booking or creating a schedule without time allotted for breaks can result in more stress.

What to Do During the Show

☑️ Take Notes

Taking notes will be important for reviewing after you leave the show. After seeing hundreds of vendors, you’ll likely forget most of the stands, talks, and workshops that you visited. Having notes will make it that much easier to follow up with companies later.

☑️ Have Business Cards Available

At such a large event, you may not have time to meet all of the exhibitors. Many of the booths will have a bowl for you to place your business card in. After the show, they’ll contact you and you can have a conversation with undivided attention. Be sure to take enough cards, but hand them out to people you’re serious about having a conversation with. If you hand them out to everyone, you’re going to receive a lot of phone calls when you get home.

☑️ Take Breaks

Trade shows are long and can be tiring! Designate some time to sit down and rest for a bit between booths. This will allow you to review who you have and haven’t spoken to and if you’re on schedule for the day.

☑️ Bring a Rucksack / Shoulder Bag

You will most likely collect a lot of information, literature, freebies and giveaways which will soon get very heavy to carry.

☑️ Drink Plenty of Water

It’s vital to stay hydrated during the event as all the talking and walking can leave you feeling quite dehydrated and take it’s toll by the end of the day.

Tasks for After the Show

☑️ Review Business Cards

What you do after the show might be even more important than during the show. After the show is finished, review any business cards and notes you collected. This may also include any photos you took on your phone. After reviewing all information, add contacts into your customer relationship management (CRM) system. Next, you’ll begin with your follow-up calls or emails.

☑️ Follow-Up

The last step is the most crucial for your business, which is to actually follow up with the exhibitors you met at the show. If already established when speaking with them at the show, you can call or email at the appointed follow-up time. If no specific time is established, it is recommended to follow-up with everyone else within two business days.

International Confex Trade Show 2022

Now that you have a guide to follow to prepare for your next trade show, be sure to visit us at the upcoming International Confex Trade Show!

You can find us at Stand A51C on the 8th-9th of March.

Click here to register for the show and don’t forget to contact our team today to book an appointment with us in advance to learn more about how Blue Hat’s team building activities can help you provide an unforgettable shared team building experience.

Written by Ben Parkinson

Published on 24 February, 2022

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