With more than 300 exhibitors, you can find car care professionals with all sorts of varying experience and expertise. Extend your knowledge beyond the educational sessions and get to know people you’ve never met.

Carwashes in different areas of the country and the world may face different challenges, or they may deal with the same issues differently than you do.

Entrepreneur.com suggests that when meeting new people, encourage them to meet you in the hall where it’s quieter. “If it's an industry leader, you will only have a few minutes to make an impression before they are distracted or led away,” notes the article.

The article also encourages trade show attendees to speak to others while waiting in buffet or bathroom lines, and to always give reporters good quotes if they approach you.

Look at the exhibitor floor plan on pages 16 and 17 to plan out your must-see booths, and then work your way through the rest as time allows. This way you won’t leave Las Vegas feeling like you missed out.

It doesn’t end when you leave

Maximize your post-show time on the way home. Stop and see a few clients on the return trip. Go over any notes you made during sessions and panels to keep everything fresh. You can also use the time to organize the business cards you gathered and make a plan for following up with your new contacts in a few days.

When you arrive home, take another look at your notes, and think about how the knowledge you picked up at the show applies to your business. What are some things you can implement in the short and long terms to help your business thrive?

Allow a few days to pass, and then follow up with a few promising leads. Don’t be afraid to share contacts with your sales team to make the most of every opportunity.

With the right tools and planning, you can make ICA’s 2015 show your best yet by keeping the atmosphere of the event going long after you return home.