Tradeshow Tips and Tricks for Attendees - IMOTO Blog

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Tradeshow Tips and Tricks for Attendees

Posted by Hannah Walker on November 02, 2014

While trade shows and expos are extremely valuable tools for learning, networking, and improving your business, they can also be very overwhelming for conference-goers. We know this because before we were exhibitors, we were NAR attendees! The NAR Expo will have over 400 exhibitors this year, covering the whole exhibit hall of the New Orleans Ernest Morial Convention Center.

 

To help your navigate your NAR Expo experience, we have come up with a list of some tips and tricks for attending tradeshows so that you can get the most out of your trip to the NAR!

 

Make a Plan!

1. Think about your goals for attending the tradeshow. Are you looking for any new vendors? What do you want to learn more about? For example, you could be looking for a company to help you with building a new website, or perhaps you have questions for a financial professional. Once you understand what you want to achieve at the tradeshow, you will be able to optimize your time at the conference so that it is a success.

2. Look at the list of exhibitors and make a list of the booths you want to see based on your tradeshow goals. The NAR 2014 exhibitor list can be found HERE. After you make your list, locate the exhibitors on the show room floor and plan your ideal route through the exhibition so that you make sure to stop by each of your “must-see” vendors.

3. Match your list of goals to your “must-see” vendors by creating a list of questions for each. This will help you know how much time you will need to spend at each booth. You may even want to make appointments ahead of time with some vendors to make sure you can get all of your questions answered.

4. Pre-register for the conference and expo. This way you are guaranteed admission into the expo and you are able to attend all the classes and seminars you would like to go to. Plus, you avoid having to wait in long lines!

5. Plan your day! Create a schedule of the seminars you will be attending and see what times the Expo fits into your day. For example, you may find that you have a break between seminars that would be perfect for an expo visit. By planning your schedule ahead of time you can make sure that you allocate enough time for visiting the show room floor so that you can hit all the booths that you want to see. And make sure you budget time to make a solid lap around the tradeshow floor, as it is a great way to learn about new companies and discover things that could improve your business!

 

What to bring?

1. Make sure to bring plenty of business cards! They allow you to request more information from vendors, enter drawings and sweepstakes, and network with colleagues.

2. Bring a pen and pad of paper. This way you can ask questions and write down notes/important information. After walking by and chatting with up to 400 exhibitors, having your own notes to refer to when recalling important information about the event will be very helpful!

3. The convention center is giant, so make sure to wear comfy shoes, as you will be doing a lot of walking. Try not to bring a big bag or coat because carrying them around could be cumbersome…especially when you are collecting literature, samples, and merchandise from exhibitors.

 

While you are at the Tradeshow

1. Be quick and efficient when walking through the show room. Scan the aisles to see if there are any exhibitors that catch your eye and prioritize these booths.

2. Skip over booths that are very crowded and come back to them later. You can save time by visiting them during a slow-traffic time of day.

3. Do not bother stopping and chatting at booths that are not important to you, as your time is better spent learning from relevant vendors.

4. Only pick up literature that you are interested in. This way, when you leave the expo you will have a condensed amount of information that is important to you and your business, rather than having piles of literature that you have to sort through.

5. Leave the tradeshow 30 minutes before the official closing so that you avoid long lines!

6. Network and interact with the NAR and vendors on social media! And make sure to use the official NAR hashtag: #NARannual

 

Want more tips on attending Expos and Trade shows? Check out the links below:

Inc Magazine

How to Get the Most Out of a Conference, by Lou Dubois

 

Reed Exhibitions

Visiting a Tradeshow – 30 Quick Tips, by Susan Friedmann

 

Business Know How

Getting the Most From Attending a Trade Show, by Susan Friedmann

 

And here is a silly one for all your robot-fanatics!

Wired

Trade Show Robots: Defying Convention, by Simon Dudley

 

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