Veterans and newcomers alike will agree that among the most taxing aspects of doing business is, without question, planning for and attending trade shows. For many, those three to four days will determine the next year’s journey, and while “being on” can be daunting (and exhausting!), a slight perspective shift can transform trade shows into exciting and energizing opportunities to grow and genuinely enjoy others engaged in similar pursuits. Create a trade show experience for yourself that is meaningful and enjoyable (even while planning, packing, traveling, walking, standing, and walking some more!).
What Goes Around, Comes Around
News flash! Everyone at a trade show needs something. They’re buying, selling, or trying to learn. And we all come to the show with gifts to share. So when conversations make you feel like you’re knocking on doors and nobody wants to buy your boxes of Girl Scout cookies, ask yourself, “What do I bring to this conversation? How can I be helpful?” Perhaps you can offer a kind word, or a lead that might be useful.
It’s easy to “get lost in a crowd.” The flurry of activity can knock us off-center, causing us to momentarily forget who we really are inside. Carry a pocket-sized “center-relocator,” such as a stone from the beach you love.
Two-thirds of a trade show happens in your office, before and afterwards. During the show, keep your list of three to five goals per day handy and relax.
Eat, Sleep, and Smile!
A smile is your best ice-breaker. Take time to introduce yourself to someone who looks a little lost. Choose clothes you feel great in, be prepared for temperature variations, and plan to be on your feet a lot! Travel light. Skip sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, drink plenty of water, and rest when you can.
Reminder: When you smile, the day you save could be your own!
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