7 Useful Survival Tips for Trade Show Attendees

tips for trade show visitors

Trade shows are great for businesses! You get an opportunity to meet new customers & suppliers, interact with industry leaders and explore the latest products. If you’ve never been to a trade show, then we urge you to visit one soon!

While fascinating and brimming with opportunities, trade shows can also be chaotic and overwhelming. You need to come prepared to survive 2 to 4 days of exhibitions, painfully long queues, and interactive sessions. Here are 7 trade show attendee tips that you should find helpful:

1.     Do Your Homework

Make sure that you thoroughly research the trade show you’re about to attend. Find out everything you can about the hosting organization, key players, other attendees, exhibitors, and speakers. You can find these details on the trade show’s official website.

This way, it will be easier to navigate through the chaos. Moreover, your time will be better spent on things that matter to you and your organization. Some trade shows even make their own smartphone application. These apps have event schedules and floor plans, in addition to the hard copies available at the event. You can download the app to help you plan your day accordingly.

2.    Wear Comfortable Shoes

Throughout the day, attendees have to walk to multiple events and booths. This adds up to many miles and can be agony if you don’t have good shoes. Wearing    comfortable (but professional) footwear is a must.

Women can wear heels but carrying flats to switch halfway through the day is a good idea. You can also consider wearing wedges instead as they support the entire foot. Avoid wearing new shoes that may take some breaking in.

3.     Get There Early & Watch the Weather

Most trade shows distribute a badge to all attendees. If you arrive late, you will probably waste a lot of time standing in the queue to get your badge. Reach the venue at least 10 minutes early so you have things in order. If you are going to a trade show in another state, make sure that you check the weather forecast. This will determine what kind of clothes you should be wearing and avoid inconvenience.

4.     Get an Insulated Lunch Bag

Tradeshows are crowded places. Some tradeshows, like CES in Vegas, have more than 150,000 attendees! In such a packed scenario, buying your lunch can be daunting due to the long lines and overpriced convention center food. With an insulated lunch bag, you can bring your own food and even opt for healthier options like a sandwich, fruit or yogurt.

lunch bag for trade show attendees

5.     Carry a Power Bank

You will be on your phone most of the time during the trade show. Chances are that your phone will be out of juice by lunch. While you can always charge your phone at your hotel room, finding a free port at a trade show is not an easy feat. Ensure that your phone has enough battery life to last through the day with a power bank or an extra battery pack.

power bank for trade show visitors

6.     Bring Sticky Notes

You will come across many revolutionary products at a tradeshow. But, with the information overload, it’s likely that you won’t remember who manufactured the product you liked when you go back home. To avoid this, click a picture of the product after attaching a sticky note with the details you need.

sticky notes for trade show attendees

7.     Carry Business Cards

You can never have too many business cards at a trade show so make sure that you carry a large stack of them. You will meet several people and business cards are a great way to connect with leads and grow your business. You can even opt for something like a glow-in-the-dark business card that will make you more memorable.

trade show visitors luggage tags

We hope you will find these trade show attendee tips helpful. If you plan to exhibit at a tradeshow, feel free to have a look at our extensive collection of promotional giveaways for tradeshows.

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Jayden Samuelson
Jayden Samuelson is an online marketing manager at Promo Direct. He is responsible for strategizing and executing all SEO and digital marketing plans for the company’s website. He is also a regular contributor to Promo Direct blog and several other sites. You can follow Jayden on Google+, Twitter and Facebook