Visitor’s guide: How to get the most out of your visit to a business expo
As with exhibiting, forward planning and good preparation are vital if you want to get the most from your visit to this year’s DL Business Expo.
Patrick Masheder, managing director of Real Results Marketing, has the following advice for visitors to the DL Expo.
Preparation: With scores of stalls to see, some pre-planning is essential. Make a list of the stalls and divide them into ‘must visit, ‘would like to visit’ and ‘will visit if I have the time’.
Once you have made a list you can allot time slots to the stalls you want to visit and the ones you would like to visit. If you have any time at the end of the day you can take in some of the others.
Remember to factor in time for lunch and the inevitable distractions.
Ask for a map of the exhibition area and work out the best route with the shortest distance between important stalls.
However, don’t fall into the trap of over-planning. Pre-booking back-to-back meetings will inevitably fail because visits tend to over run. Give yourself time to explore.
It’s a good idea to take a lightweight carry-all for picking up business cards and marketing materials.
Don’t forget to take some of your own business cards. Tradeshows are great places to network.
If you are going with co-workers decide beforehand how to split up to make the most of your visit.
Don’t waste time visiting the same stall.
At the show: As soon as you arrive check the latest trade show directory to see what has changed. You may need to revise your plans.
Make sure you get what you need. It’s a good idea to pick up point-of-sale materials and, if you don’t find what you need, ask for it. A good exhibitor will have everything a potential customer should want.
Don’t forget to ask for a business card. Names and contact details are invaluable, especially after the show.
Be open to new ideas and innovations. Keep an eye open for something you may not have noticed in your pre-planning. There is always something new to see at a tradeshow, so be prepared to vary your carefully worked-out time schedule.
Take a pen and pad to jot down notes or use your smartphone. You can take notes on your phone or record voice memos. A smartphone is also useful for taking pictures or even videoing a product demonstration.
Remember to take a break - all that networking is thirsty work.
Finally, remember that the event doesn’t end when you leave the show. Set aside some time for post-event follow-up calls the next day.