#CES2019 – Top 3 trade show attending tips.
December 12, 2018
I have been to the best trade shows in the world and the absolute worst. Both as an attendee walking a show and an exhibitor trying to impress with products and services. Over the past 20 years trade shows have grown, shrunk, died, re-invented themselves, merged, added technology, added gimmicks, added tricks, and have changed in a 1000 different ways.
But in all that time these small trade show attendee tips have served me well and stood the test of time. With #CES2019 coming up these tips matter more due to the size of #CES2019.
Be Systematic In Your Approach – You have already spent the money to travel to the show so get a map and walk every inch of the show to try to get the best possible return on your investment. Big shows in particular can be hard to navigate if you don’t systematically walk up and down each aisle, it is easy to miss entire sections of a show if you are not systematic in your approach. Big booths are impressive but the undiscovered exhibitors showcasing new product are often hidden away down seemingly dead aisles as they are just starting out and can cannot afford a big presence, yet. I know because I have been that exhibitor 🙂 It is worth the time investment to walk and see every inch of the show. Don’t forget to pause every once and a while and take a look around. There is so much happening at trade shows that it can be hard to focus and take it all in. I like to stop once and a while and really take a long look at a booth.
It’s All About The Shoes – It is not uncommon to have to walk 10 to 15 km at a show to see it all and that does not include any of the walking you have to do just to get to the show. If you are in Vegas for example you might walk 1 or 2 km just to get out of your hotel and to the show, such is the nature of massive shows in Vegas. It seems pretty straight forward but you would be surprised how many people don’t prepare for this level of exertion by wearing the right shoes. I have had more than a few colleagues who could not make it all the way through a show or constantly needed to take breaks. Not because they were not fit but because they chose the wrong shoes. Look good, but make sure your shoes are fit for purpose because once your feet start to hurt your mind goes and with it the focus required to close deals.
Research Extensively Before You Attend – I always want to know as much as possible before attending a show and I am not just referring to what is happening at the show. Where exactly is my hotel located in relationship to the exhibit hall? What options for food are around my hotel? Including fresh fruit and veg that I may want for the hotel room. How much walking is needed outside of what I will be doing at the show? What food options are available at the show? What transportation options are available to and from the show as well as around town. All of these research questions are about keeping your body and mind right for the task at hand. Big trade shows can be a weeks worth of cardio in 2 or 3 days. For some people it might be a months worth of cardio 🙂 You don’t want to add unnecessary burden on your body when you are traveling, so it is worth the time investment to plan ahead and know what options are available to you for food, transportation, and any other amenities that you may need. The last thing you want to do is run around blind trying to find a service in a city you don’t know, while exhausted. Been there.
Common theme, take care of your body, so your mind stays sharp, so you can close deals 🙂