5 Tips to Help You Maximize Your Next Trade Show Experience

Attending trade shows can be exciting yet overwhelming while informative yet intimidating. There’s a lot to accomplish while attending a trade show – particularly one that offers you such an expansive opportunity to discover new vendors, unique product finds, countless educational opportunities and more, such as ASD Market Week offers bi-annually in Las Vegas. Keeping this in mind, planning in advance is among the best ways to maximize your time spent at a trade show. To help? Consider the five tips below.

TIP #1: Pack Smart… For You & Your Business

The most savvy trade show attendees know that when it comes to spending 4, 3, 2 or even just one day at a trade show, it pays to wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers. ASD Market Week, taking place July 30 – August 2, 2017 in Las Vegas, may be in the 100’s outside but inside the Las Vegas Convention Center it’s cool and comfortable thanks to air conditioning. To help find comfort whether you are inside or out, consider dressing in layers to make your trade show days comfortable no matter where you are. Plus, cozy footwear is key. Attire aside, don’t forget to plan ahead for your business must-haves, as well. Prior to departing for your next trade show, prepare a 1-page overview for exhibitors you are writing orders with that includes your business information on it. Incorporate your store contact information, your credit card billing information, Federal (for shipping over borders or non-US distributors) and State tax ID, ship-to addresses, credit references for terms, and/or credit card information. It may also help to have some images of your store to reference to if you want vendors to gain a stronger understanding of your store.  Finally, don’t forget to pack your business cards, as well.

TIP #2: Register Now to Save Time Later

The weeks and days leading up to a trade show are undoubtedly busy since you will be both preparing to attend a trade show while also preparing to be away from your store. To help ease these busy days, register now for your next trade show. ASD Market Week welcomes retailers to attend for free when you register in advance, which you do here. Additionally, be sure to use the time prior to arriving at ASD or any other trade show to review inventory needs, store merchandising challenges and other operational tasks so that you can maximize your time onsite at the show. Having a strong understanding of your store needs and goals will allow you to best utilize your time at trade shows versus having to take time away from your trade show experience to review these details then.

TIP #3: Visit Vendors Based on Their Categories

Trade show such as ASD Market Week are comprehensive for good reason – they want to offer you everything you need for your store under one roof, making your trade show experience as efficient as possible. ASD Market Week, for example, offers nine shows in one – offering inventory in categories that include fashion, accessories, gift, home, beauty, toys, novelty, cash & carry and more. To help maximize your time and experience at comprehensive trade shows like ASD, it’s important to plan ahead when you prepare to hit the show floors. One of the best practices you can do is separate your exhibitor visits according to their floor location within each show category. Separating your preferred categories by day is ideal, and when necessary you can split morning visits from afternoon visits according to show floor location. Your main goal? Keeping appointments and exhibitor visits closer together in location, therefore saving you time when getting from one appointment to the next. Don’t forget to give yourself time to explore new things, as well, while also incorporating educational experiences into your agenda.

TIP #4: Utilize Trade Show Mobile Apps

There’s a reason so many attendees of trade shows utilize apps… they are effective and helpful in their show planning, onsite navigation, vendor research and more. Possibly the best part, however, is the ease apps offer show attendees thanks to their availability on their personal phones. ASD Market Week is no exception to this rising trend and offers a Show Planner via their app, as well as the ability to research new vendors, discover old favorites and gain all you need to prepare for your upcoming ASD Market Week visit in the palm of your hands. Be sure to download the app of your favorite trade show prior to attending to use both in advance and onsite at the show. This will also help you stay up to date with last minute show updates, daily educational announcements and more.

TIP #5: Take Time for Education & Networking

Taking time away from your store is no easy task, but make no mistake that doing just this is what helps your store thrive. When attending trade shows, it’s important to allocate time to gain from the various networking and educational experiences offered by trade shows. This is also a reason to consider one show versus another when identifying which trade show may be right for you. ASD Market Week, for example, offers over 100 educational experiences free to attendees of ASD. This includes 5o plus main stage experiences that take place directly on the show floor delivered by the Independent Retailer Conference, which features industry leading experts that have included Yelp, Square, Refund Retriever, Enspire Commerce, companies featured on Shark Tank and more. Often, connecting with these experts and taking the time to network with other retailers is exactly what your store needs to help it thrive… giving you one more reason to make attending trade shows a priority for your business.

In Conclusion

Planning ahead is among the best ways to maximize your trade show experience. But first? Identify what trade show is right for you. To help explore, click here now.

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