Quick tips to help you focus your time at tradeshows

Quick tips to help you focus your time at tradeshows

This post is written by Paul Cook – blogger, writer, researcher, and founder of Planet Planit, a specialised content consultancy for events and hospitality.

How easy it is at tradeshows to let time slip away. There is much going on, and all sorts of people will want a part of you. Here are some questions that will help you save your time and energy when you get to the show. Is it business, education, or both that you have come for?

1. Prioritise the exhibitors you want to meet

No longer do you have the time (if you ever did) to walk up to an exhibitor and start an ad-hoc conversation. Be honest, why are you investing your time to go to their stand?

It could be for any number of reasons, but if you are still struggling to answer the question then perhaps you shouldn’t be visiting that exhibitor in the first place.

Remember that at some of the major trade shows you will need to book an appointment to see your chosen exhibitor, so don’t become a disappointed visitor. Work out the best time for you both before you go. This is essential for some of the larger shows where a Hosted Buyer system operates.

2. Ask why you want to meet them

Make sure you figure out why you’re prioritising an exhibitor and whether it’s a worthwhile reason to use some of the time you have at the show.

Below are some of the reasons you may have – it’s up to you to figure out whether that’s enough to make them a priority.

  • They are new to you and so you are on a fact-finding mission.
  • You need to re-energise an existing relationship.
  • It would be good to spy on your competition.
  • There is an order you need to place.
  • The exhibitor has credibility and you want to be seen close to them.

3. Make time for education

Maybe you are more interested in the educational sessions on offer, and you find you are now sitting in the seminar room or lecture theatre waiting for the session to begin.

What do you want? We have already talked about your time being precious, so, be honest – why are you really spending time listening to the speaker?

It could be because you want to:

  • Make a connection, and this session is the one to go to because of the people who might be there.
  • Understand more about the subject.
  • Ask questions.
  • Meet the speaker.
  • Watch the speaker and their speaking or presentation style.

Discover what your competition is saying. What can you learn about them from being in the session? What language do they use? Are they engaging or lecturing?

Finally, whether you are interested in business, education, or both, if you focus on your preparation you will be able to make the most of your time away from the office and benefit from all the show has to offer.

Paul Cook will be moderating a panel on The Future of Venues at IBTM World Virtual this year as part of our IBTM TV content stream.

Find out more here.

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Paul Cook has been immersed in events for over 20 years, as a writer, researcher, speaker, facilitator, educator, advisor and producer. He is a content writer for the events sector. When he is not writing, he is a producer of virtual or hybrid events. Paul has been nominated as one of the 100 most influential people in events by the Eventex Index. Building on his event risk management roots, his experience at Pinewood Film Studios and working with new technologies has naturally led him to working in and developing virtual and hybrid events for business growth. He is the author of two books. His first book, Risk It! Is all about event risk and his second book, Remotely Engaging is a guide to how to engage virtual attendees at events.

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