Oh yes, there is a way to visit trade shows and it’s not just about pre-registering (obviously do that!). Having walked trade shows for over 10 years I can tell you that there is a right and a wrong way to do it. Some of these may seem pretty obvious but after 3 days you might find yourself in a daze wondering why you bothered to buy a ticket in the first place. Whether you are a design student, an intern or a seasoned vet. Sometimes it can be good to be reminded.
This way seem like a pretty obvious one but you never know. You might wake up at 4.30am to get on a Eurostar to Paris and mistakenly put on a pair of ‘comfy’ heels in a half-awake stupor. Speaking from experience, when you are walking for 12 hours plus after parties there is no such thing as a comfy set of heels. Wear shoes that are comfortable if you were marching for 12 hours and make sure they have padding in all the right places. You can thank me later.
I have a particular way to walk a show and it is tried and tested. You walk every row and you snake in and out. Row A then Row B and then Row C. This way you are going to see everything, you’re not going to miss anything. Most larger stands will go through from both rows so you’ll get a second chance at them.
Have a supplier that you rarely get to see? Make a note of it and make sure that you keep on top of what row they are in. Shows are busy and it can be very difficult to get to see everyone.
If you haven’t done this particular show before don’t just B-line for a supplier that you know. You may miss out on a supplier that you never would have ever seen before. For shows we have done many times getting one good new supplier is a fantastic result – not every show needs to be a blow out.
I cannot stress this enough – always have them on you. Every party and at all times. You never know who you might be standing next to you in the queue for the loo! It’s important to always be prepared. In
vest in some good quality business cards, we adore Moo as they always make an impression.
Make sure you eat properly and drink enough water. There are a lot of free snacks often on offer but those really aren’t enough to sustain you throughout a large show. Eat a proper meal for lunch and if you’re feeling really good about the work you’ve done so far treat yourself with a lovely glass of bubbly! It can make the afternoon a lot more productive!
Feel someone has been inexplicably rude to you, make sure that they don’t get away with it. If you are a student don’t just accept that they will be rude to you. I have had many many potential suppliers be rude to be as well as current ones. If you are able withdraw from that supplier – do it. Don’t be afraid to let them know why
you have pulled your business, it is important that they realise that rudeness is no way to behave. This is also extremely
applicable is you are unhappy with the practices of a company. We have removed our business from many companies for terrible business practices whether this be in their staffing policies or environmental issues. You can talk with your money – do it.
Afterwards there are so many companies to catch up with and sort through. Remember to set some time aside to go through everything that you have collected. Add everything in to your CRM (customer relationship manager) and make sure you know who you will turn to for what. All these gorgeous new products shouldn’t be relegated to the bottom of a drawer!
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Saturday — Closed
Sunday — Closed