A lot of attention is paid to how exhibitors can make the most out of their trade shows, but people often forget that it is not easy to be an attendee either! As soon as you arrive you will be greeted by dozens of stalls, all trying to attract your custom with the many weekend deals they have on.
You need to make sure you are not suckered into a bad deal, but at the same time you need to be on the look out for products and services that will help out your business. This can be tricky at times. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of whatever trade shows you attend:
Plan out your goals beforehand
What are you hoping to get out of the trade show? Do you want to gain a new service, or order in a batch of a specific product? Perhaps you're more interested in networking, or some combination of all three. Whatever your intentions, it is definitely better to plan it out beforehand.
This will help to keep you focused, reducing the time you spend wandering around with little direction at the trade show. Without a plan, you might find yourself signing up to things that will not help your business at all.
Have a retort planned
Aggressive sales pitches can be very difficult to deal with, and the best salespeople know this. If you are too awkward to out-and-out reject them, they could use that as an opportunity to talk you round to making a purchase that is not right for you.
You should be prepare what you are going to say to people in these cases. Simply being confident and telling them "no thank you" can often be the best bet, but you need to be ready and willing to do so!
Get a map and a timetable
If you are really organised, you will find that planning out who you want to talk to beforehand will make your trade show experience much easier. A timetable will give you direction, enabling you to avoid getting picked off by aggressive salespeople.
To be even more efficient, get a map and keep hold of it! You will be able to get round the trade show with ease, interacting with all the stalls you definitely want to see, then browse once all your planned business has been completed.
Keep your energy up
Finally, trade shows can be tiring! You don't want to end up flagging late in the day, leading to you becoming more susceptible to bad offers and less able to plan for the future. It is always a good idea to keep your energy up as much as possible.
Most trade show venues have a restaurant, cafe or other refreshment facility, so take advantage of this and have something to eat and sit down whenever you start feeling tired. You will hopefully find this enables you to get through the entire day with no problems!