You signed up to attend a trade show. Now what?
First, you should make a trade show checklist of all the things you need to bring. It can be overwhelming attending a show you have never been to before, especially if you have never been to one at all! Shake off the nerves and look at the ten things we think are important for you to put on your trade show checklist.
1. Your Trade Show Pass🎟
Proper documentation is always the number one priority. When you arrive at the show, you will need to check in to receive your expo pass at the front desk. Have a paper or digital copy of your proof of registration handy if there is a mix-up when finding your name. Once you receive your pass, bring it everywhere during the show days because you will need it to access the keynotes, exhibit hall, and mixer events.
2. An Excessive Amount of Business Cards🗃
As an attendee, you will be meeting lots of people and connecting with potential customers or providers. Not to mention, tons of exhibitors will have giveaways that require you to toss a business card in a bowl. Ensure your cards are updated with your most recent contact information and have them handy to pass out.
3. A Pen and Notebook📝
Pen and paper can seem like common sense and a little outdated to some. However, it is extremely useful to take quick notes while speaking to exhibitors. When you check out their website later, the notes you made will spark your memory of what attracted you to their booth. Even if you only bring a pen, it is handier to make valuable notes on exhibitors’ pamphlets and brochures than in your notes app on your phone.
4. A Schedule🗓
You will want to make sure you have a schedule handy and readily available. There is always a lot going on, often at the same time, at a trade show. Before you go, take a look at the schedule and map out what keynote speaker you want to watch, what workshop you want to attend, and when exhibitor floor time is. Decide what is important to you and what booths you want to see so you can map out your days to maximize time efficiency at the trade show.
5. A Phone Charger
Speaking of your phone, bring a charger or charging block! Emphasis on the charging block because who wants to be confined to a plug while you charge your phone? Trade show days are long days, and they begin with breakfast conferences that end with evening mixers. Often, you will not have enough time to head back to your room to sit and charge your phone. Furthermore, your hotel room may be too far from the exhibit hall.
6. Snacks and Water🍎🥤
Like we mentioned above, your days are long at trade shows, so make sure you pack some snacks and water to stay hydrated. Most shows will provide you with snacks and meals, but it is better to keep on the safe side and pack your own to ensure they meet your expectations and dietary restrictions.
7. A Bag💼
Not only are you going to need something to house your personal belongings, but you will also need something to collect your swag items. Each booth you visit will be handing out pamphlets, brochures and free swag. If they are of interest to you, you’re going to need a place to store them safely.
8. Comfortable Footwear👟
In life, you should always invest in two things. A good mattress and proper footwear. Why? Because if you are not in your bed, you’re on your feet. And when you are attending a trade show, you are on your feet all day. Go for comfort when packing your outfits, and you won’t regret it!
9. Clean Clothes👔
Exhibitors are not the only ones who need to stand out at a trade show; attendees must make a good impression too! As much as you are picking a provider to partner with, exhibitors are sizing you up to make sure it is a good fit on their end. Not to mention the potential customers or employees you may meet. Dress to impress and leave the sweat pants and stains at home.
10. An Evening Outfit👠
Pivoting off point nine, you will need to pack something nice to wear in the evening on top of clean clothes. It is often a trade show-by-day, networking event-by-night scenario at these exhibits. Not only should you make sure you go to the evening events, but you also want to look sharp! Lots of deals go down once the sun does.
And most important of all for your trade show checklist is, your mask.😷We are still in a pandemic, y’all – be safe out there!
Since we are on the topic of trade shows.
Did you know that Bicom Systems will be at Enterprise Connect in Orlando from March 21st – 24th? The team will be there with demos of our PBXware, SERVERware and UCaaS solutions for businesses. Stop by booth #1835 any time for free demos and previews of our products!
Do you want to receive $500 off your expo pass? Register here and use code ‘BICOM’ at checkout!