Back to in-person tech tradeshows? Tips for when you're getting back out there...
With in-person trade shows continuing to rise, here are some schools of thought that will help you – if and when you’re getting back “out there.” Whether attending as an IT individual or maybe even a tech vendor, the most obvious tip is to see what’s going on, knowing it could change from day-to-day.
STAY ON TOP OF IT - KNOWING THINGS COULD CHANGE
What is out there? Who is doing shows? Are they in-person? Online? Both? And, once you’ve discovered all you can, plan to keep a watchful eye for any changes – cancellations, postponements, transitions from in-person to online or hybrid, etc. The best thing about in-person shows is the experience. Virtual tradeshows sometimes can’t really capture the true essence of an in-person show because well, they’re not. Internet connections and time zones can also be problematic. At the same time, virtual tradeshows can take you “places” you’ve never been or maybe never could go, meeting new people right inside your very own home, or anywhere you are...
FIND OUT WHO YOU WANT TO MEET - OR MAYBE REVISIT
Once you find out what shows you would like to attend, find out who else will be attending. You may want to find out who all will be there before you even register – whether offline or online. Check out what person or vendor you may want to connect with and preschedule meetings. Sometimes one meeting alone can be worth the effort of attending. Reach out to current partners. It’s been a while seen some of us have seen one another. The first day of a show can be hectic, but the second day typically slows down, which could be great for connections and meetings. Wherever and whomever you meet, be certain to maintain local COVID policies and procedures.
HAVE A STRATEGY IN PLACE - SO YOU CAN BE FLEXIBLE
Having some sort of guide in place gives you room to be flexible. You know "what" you want to attend. You know who you want to connect with, you’ve even prescheduled some meetings, but outside of that – what are your other goals? Do you need to learn more about a particular technology or advancement? Assess agendas for sessions or seminars and sign up early. It’s easy to get distracted without some sort of focused planning. Plans to meet your must-see exhibitors might help to determine when to visit those key areas and discover new things. Companies sometimes plan new product launches at shows, so leave some time for that and perhaps even a demo?
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