Here are some simple tips to follow:
- Register early to get the best rate.
- Stay at the host hotel because you will run into more folks than if you are commuting to your hotel.
- Research travel arrangements - like airfare, cabs, buses, Uber, whatever. How expensive is parking?
- Have plenty of business cards [In fact, order some now at MOO!]
- What is your Goal? What two or three things do you need to take away from this show for it to be positive?
- Plan in Advance. Check to see what sponsors and speakers will be there. What sessions look interesting? Mark your calendar!
- For the biggest impact vendors like to have a booth or table. See about opportunities to sit on a panel. This gives you a little bit of spotlight.
- Bring two pairs of comfortable shoes and wear them on alternate days.
- Wear your badge in plain site.
- Be sure to follow up with new contacts and vendors after the show.
- Note anything interesting in a notebook (or a note taking app like Evernote).
- Carry a pen or 2!
Lately, some folks just take a photo of my business card - or quickly add me to LinkedIn. I still take notes on business cards (hence the pens)
Good thought: Take a moment after the show to make note of any exhibits or displays that you thought were particularly effective. What did they do that you could implement in your own company's marketing campaign?
Dinner: Having a meal is a bonding experience. I always have dinner gatherings at shows. You can too. Many attendees have no plans, so inviting folks to dinner (even a Dutch treat) will quickly make you a friend.
Peter Shankman has some interesting things to add.
We'll see you in New Orleans on Feb 5-7 for FISPA LIVE and the following week on 2/13-2/16 at ITEXPO + CVX Expo + SDWAN in Ft Lauderdale.