Attending a tradeshow can be fun and exciting, from the equipment demos to the informative seminars, there’s always so much to do and see. The best part is that you get to be in a giant room full of people and equipment related to the industry you love. That’s why it’s so important to make the most of every show you attend. Here are a few tips that can help guide you as you prepare for your next tradeshow.
It’s important to start thinking about what tradeshows you want to attend early in the year. It will ensure you get them on your calendar and begin the process of planning early. If you’ve been in the industry a while, you probably have an idea of what shows are worth your while, but if you’re a bit newer, do some research. Look at the popular trade publications, websites, and even social media platforms to get informed.
Once you have a tradeshow or two you know you’ll be able to attend, make sure to book flights, hotels, and rental cars early. The show you’re going to might be a big draw for the town and prices will start to skyrocket the closer you get to show time.
To help you stay focused, set two or three goals for the show. For instance ask yourself, why did you choose this particular show to attend? What problems are you hoping to solve for your business? Once you have your pain points in mind, look at the exhibitor lists to see which companies offer solutions you need. Most tradeshows will post the floor map on their website, allowing you to literally map out your plan. Some tradeshows will even offer an app that can help you with scheduling, communicating, and more. Having a few set goals will keep you focused and on your way to making this trip worthwhile for your business.
If you’re attending the show with the intent to shop for new equipment, consider getting pre-approved for equipment financing. With a pre-approval, you’ll know exactly what’s in your budget, and it even gives you some negotiating power with vendors.
Many times, vendors offer great deals at tradeshows. I’ve had customers send me their equipment invoice prior to the show and Beacon will have the deal ready-to-fund, so my customer can arrive at the show and leave with their equipment.
– Senior Financial Consultant, Zachary Burghardt
If you don’t want to get pre-approved before the show, still make sure to stop by a financing booth to learn about how easy the process is. With Beacon Funding, for example, you might be able to get approved for financing that day!
At The Tradeshow
Balance Your Time
Tradeshows offer a vast array of events and can be overwhelming. You want to make sure you balance your time between seeking out vendors on your list, attending seminars and workshops, and Q&A sessions. Make sure to leave some time to walk around to explore and learn about new technologies or trends.
Tradeshows are the perfect time to expand your network. Confidently approach people and strike up a conversation about the tradeshow, their business… anything really! You can meet other people working in your industry and gather valuable insight and a meaningful connection. Don’t forget to hand out your business cards!
Enjoy The Experience
Remember to have some fun, meet new people, and expand your network of industry professionals. If you’re coming from out of town, set aside a few hours to see the sights and enjoy the local attractions.
You will want to take a step back and identify if your tradeshow goals were met. Evaluate your purchases, findings, and new knowledge to better understand if attending was worthwhile. Tradeshows can be overwhelming, but don’t feel discouraged. If you think you missed some things, read some post-show literature.
After the show is over, be sure to keep in touch with your contacts. Send out follow-up emails or LinkedIn invitations and follow through with your new connections.
Now that you have insight on these tradeshow strategies you can take advantage of attending one or a few tradeshows in your industry. Follow these tricks and you’re sure to have a successful and fun show!