Attending a trade show is not only beneficial in being able to promote a product or business and generate sales and leads, but it also gives individuals the chance to scope out the competition and see what methods others are using to promote. Exhibitors are in high pressure situations as they each try to promote their product and make their booth stand out to the thousands of attendees.  From travel costs to renting floor space to setting up trade show truss, attending a trade show can be very expensive, so it’s important to get the most out of the trip.  Continue reading for some ways to get the most out of a trade show.

Develop a clear plan for what should be accomplished at the trade show.  It’s not enough for an exhibitor to say they want to just promote their product—they should have something more in mind.  For example, do they want to catch the attention of potential business partners?  Do they want to use the trade show as primarily a way to generate sales or develop leads?  If an exhibitor doesn’t have any concrete goals in mind for the trade show—as well as plans for achieving those goals—it could end up being a waste of time and money.  Since preparing for a trade show can take months, the exhibitor should come up with a list of goals in advance before they book the exhibit space or pay for a display, that way they can make sure they get the most of a trade show trip.

Make sure everyone manning the exhibit is at the top of their game.  According to Trade Show Executive Research Roundup, nearly half of the people who attend tradeshows develop an attachment to the products they interacted with.  With this information in mind, it is important to make sure that the people helping with the exhibit know the ins and outs of the product being promoted.  First impressions count and if the people at the exhibit connect attendees connect with the product, this can lead to business leads and sales, which will truly help an exhibitor get the most out of the trade show.

Take the time to mingle.  Get the most out of a trade show trip by developing meaningful business connections.  Sometimes people think of trade shows as mainly a way to get their name out there and while this is the goal, trade shows also provide a valuable opportunity to network with other attendees and develop business relationships.  When colleagues at the trade show booth have things under control, the exhibitor can walk around and chat up other business people, especially those who are promoting similar products.  Another good way to mingle is to take in the nightlife.  Since a lot of trade shows can last for a few days and exhibitors have to stay overnight, going out to popular bars and restaurants around the trade show center can provide a good opportunity to meet other business people.