Tips for tradeshow success
There are other ways to maximize your tradeshow experience. While in San Diego this year, the following are some best practices to consider following :
Don’t get distracted. Expect the tradeshow flow to change throughout exhibition hours. Quieter times, such as 12 noon – 1:30 p.m. (when lunch is being consumed) and later in the day, will allow you more access to exhibitors’ attention and demonstrations. Take advantage of this time wisely.
Set a plan. Whether you are trying to schedule your time around particular exhibitors to meet or sessions to attend, organize your thoughts ahead of time and come up with a reasonable plan. The more organized you are, the less rushed you’ll feel. Then, you’ll be able to concentrate more effectively on the task at hand, which is obtaining information and networking.
Know your mission. Interested in a new point-of-sale system? Looking for a water reclamation system? Check out the exhibitor list ahead of time (http://convention.wcwa.org) and map out the booths you should hit up first. Currently, there are more than 100 booths of exhibitors so it’s important you maximize your time as you most likely won’t be able to visit each one. If the booth is crowded or busy, take one a business card on display, but also check back to see if someone at the booth is free.
Make as many connections as possible. The networking opportunities will abound and you’ll hopefully be making some key connections to better your business. It will be important to visit booths with a good attitude and friendly demeanor. This is also a good time to network with other carwash owners and operators. They will share with you the secrets to their success (as they’re not your direct competition), and let you in on what works, and what hasn’t worked, for them. But, how do you do that? Well, for starters, outside of the showroom floor, look for people wearing the badges and simply talk to them whether it’s in line at a restaurant, in the elevator or at one of the cocktail receptions. This is your greatest opportunity to meet others in your line of work who aren’t competing with you for customers.