3 Simple Tips for Surviving a Trade Show

In a few days, Kelly Bowe and I (and thousands and thousands of other marketing professionals) will descend upon Las Vegas for the PPAI Expo.  It is one of the largest trade shows in the United States.

Imagine, if you will, the ultimate trade show of trade shows.

Though the event is amazingly well run, hugely helpful and a wonderful thing to attend, it can also be totally overwhelming.  My guess is, regardless of industry, you have events like this too.  So here are some simple tips and tricks to making the most of your big trade show.

Comfy Shoes:  Though there are still plenty of people that look sharp, business attire has become less formal.  Regardless of how you feel about that, this is one time to make sure you have comfortable shoes.  Make sure you have shoes you can walk and/or stand in for hours.  You don’t want to be missing out because all you can think about is your aching feet.

Lots of Water:   At many events, plenty of people drink.  They just don’t drink enough water!  These events can strain you both mentally and physically.  Make sure you take the time to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  Many events have hydration stations.  Take a re-usable water bottle and drink the H20.

Have a Plan:  When I first starting attending events like this, my plan was “I want to see everything!”  As I know now, this is not a plan.  It’s a recipe for being overwhelmed and exhausted.  Before you leave for the event, make a list of people you want to meet, projects you want to research, and things you want to do.  Keep this list close at hand to make sure you stay on track.

As a side note, for education conferences, I like to think “what is the one thing” I want to take away from this?  It helps me focus in and not be so distracted by all of the concepts I am hearing.  For example, this year at Skucon, my goal is to make in person connections with as many people as possible.   Regardless of your event, have a plan and a goal.  It will help you make the most of your event!

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Written by: Kirby Hasseman

Kirby Hasseman is the CEO of Hasseman Marketing & Communications. Kirby hosts a weekly Web show called Delivering Marketing Joy where he interviews business leaders from around the country. Kirby has published four books. His most recent is “Fan of Happy.” His book, called "Delivering Marketing Joy" is about doing “promo right” and is perfect for people in the industry and customers. He also wrote “Think Big For Small Business” and “Give Your Way to Success. All are available on Amazon.