Believe it or not, trade show season is just around the corner! Whether you are a vendor who needs to make sure booths are ready to go or a consumer who is preparing for the ever-so-tiring walks, it’s time to get ready. There are several things that you can do – no matter your role. Here are four things to keep in mind as we all prepare for the annual “check out this year’s products” display.
- Buy good shoes! If you are getting ready to walk the floor, it’s a good idea to have some sturdy walking shoes. It really will save your feet (at least as much as possible). Even if you’re a vendor, though, you should have shoes that won’t absolutely destroy your feet after hours of standing on them. This is probably my most important tip for trade shows.
- Get a rolling cart. As a vendor, a rolling cart is going to be the best way to get your load of items from the front door to your booth. You likely have a lot of things to set out on your table/display, so save yourself the hassle of walking back and forth. If you’re walking around, a rolling cart is one way of saving your back from carrying all of those giveaways! Besides, relying on free bags can be nerve-racking. One year, I had a bag break in the middle of the showroom floor! (Thankfully, we have plenty of great bags to offer.)
- Arrive early. The sooner you get to the show, the better. In my experience, many people don’t show up to walk the floor until closer to 10:30 or 11:00. If you arrive at the very beginning, you can avoid some of the crowd. And vendors: please have your booth set up before showtime! It looks very unprofessional when you are still setting things up an hour after the convention has started.
- Be ready for conversation. Vendors, you should know the most common questions that you are asked by your customers. Come to the trade show prepared for answering these questions. You can also bring a cheat sheet of other other, less popular questions – just in case. And if you’re getting ready to check out these vendors, make a mental note (or physical one!) of what you are looking for so that you know the right questions to ask.