Paul Simon, Trade Shows & You
Many of us regularly attend trade show events—both big and small—and often-times, the small ones end up getting crisscrossed over so often , that you’ve learned the names of the people who you don’t even stop to talk to.
But haven’t we’ve all likely been left with that unsatisfied feeling of leaving a large event knowing we didn’t fully navigate the show, thus perhaps missing out on something?
Well here’s hoping we can help you connect something most of us can’t help but have stuck in our heads already with some simple ways to make sure you take full advantage of large trade shows.
Paul Simon said it (sang it) best with his 1975 hit “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover”, but maybe he was heading to a trade show. In any event, use those famous lyrics to remind you how to best rule a large trade show.
Hit it Paul:
“Slip Out the Back, Jack”
Utilize the back and side entrances. Don’t just follow the herd. First off you often-times will get in and out so much quicker, but more importantly, see and walk the show from another angle, take advantage of those booths and exhibits not at the front and center, they are usually smaller companies more willing to earn your business.
“Make A New Plan, Stan”
Do your research ahead of time. Don’t just show up. Whatever research you are already doing, do more. Know what changes have been made since the last time you attended, know what companies are signed up. Study the show layout by section. Utilize the Show Directory as early as available.
“Don’t need to be coy, Roy”
Be aggressive. Ask for better, ask for more. Speak your mind. Make the deal that works for you.
“Just Listen To Me”
Keep an ear out. Listen for clues. Improve your options. Clues are all around onsite at big events. Make sure you are listening more than talking, especially at trade shows, there’s too much to learn not to listen. Take advantage of the free speakers and seminars, they could help grow your business.
“Hop On the Bus, Gus”
Take advantage of the transit options provided by the event. These costs add up, big events should provide fairly timely options, and don’t be shy, ask the show office if they have vouchers for transportation. Face to face is always a great option, but take advantage of pre-show information early.
“You Don’t Need To Discuss Much”
If you ‘Make Your New Plan, Stan’ you won’t need to discuss much b/c you will be prepared. Always be prepared. You are going on a business trip, not primarily to have fun, don’t let the slew of fun options distract you from your business plan.
“Just Drop Off the Key, Lee”
Set aside those distractions at the door. We all must have our phones, for business, but with them comes distractions, stay on focus. And don’t bring distractions with you. Your phone has to come, but other distractions don’t. Drop those distractions before you go to these large events.
“And Get Yourself Free”
Take advantage of everything free and discounted. Find out about all VIP-related options and events. It’s not just about the free beverage or appetizer it’s about who you meet with at these events. These options are out there. All big shows and events have them. You just have to do your research, build your connections, and they will come your way with even more ease.
So get this song stuck in your head, and take advantage of the lyrics. They should help you decrease your expenses, improve your opportunity to make great decisions and in the end, be a small part to help you have a more successful 2014.Contributed by John Banker. Banker is Los Angeles based and has worked for the past 10 years with Nielsen trade shows and the last four years as Sales Director for ASD Trade Shows. The fourth largest US trade show based on annual net square feet, ASD stages twice a year in Las Vegas. Prior to ASD, John was a stockbroker and graduated from the University of Kansas.