Trade shows are usually full of energy and good vibes. Having attended many different ones over the years, both as an exhibitor and a visitor, I find the more you plan the better.
ConExpo-Con/Agg, one of the largest construction trade shows in North America is nearly upon us. It's being held March 10th to 14th in Las Vegas. It's a great show to attend as all the latest construction technology congregates there from all over the world. There will be over 2,800 exhibitors and 150 education sessions so it is important that you prepare for your visit beforehand otherwise you could find that you will struggle to do all you need to do in the time that you have.
To avoid being overwhelmed, I have compiled a list of tips that I hope will help simplify the process and help you to maximize your trade show experience:
- Think about why you’re attending? What is it that you want to achieve? Be clear about what you want to accomplish and set some goals
- Purchase your admission ticket in advance to secure a discount. The general badge admission for ConExpo includes admission, show/hotel shuttle and a three-day Monorail pass. Exhibitors, like ourselves, have some discount codes so it is always worth reaching out to key people that you intend to visit. For anyone intending to visit our stand I encourage you to contact me
- Visit the official ConExpo website and research who is exhibiting. There’s a very useful search facility that helps you to look for products or companies that you’re interested in visiting. ConExpo also has a great feature on its website that allows you to save the company that you’re interested in seeing and check out where they are on the map (my show planner)
- Print a map before your visit and mark on it the key companies that you want to see. With so many visitors to the show each day, internet coverage can be slow and unreliable so a hard copy can really help
- Download the dedicated ConExpo App as soon as it becomes available as there will be many helpful features to aide your visit. I always download the official show app to trade shows that I go to. They really are getting better and better
- Set up meetings. If you know in advance who you want to talk to, arranging a meeting avoids the uncertainty of being able to see them and helps you to manage and optimize your time
- Pack comfortable shoes – You’ll be doing a lot of walking as the event covers 2,500,000 square feet. The distance from the Festival grounds to the Bronze hall is almost 2 miles – a 40-minute walk. Stilettos are best left at home!
- As we’re based very close to London, we always think about the weather and try to be prepared for all eventualities. Although in March Las Vegas averages a daily temperature of between 66° and 74°f (19° to 24°c) you're likely to spend time inside and outside. The temperature variations from the inside air-conditioned halls to outside, means that a couple of layers of clothing are a good idea to keep warm or cool down… I’ll also be packing my sunglasses!
- Engage on social media. Twitter is a quick way to keep informed about what’s going on. By using the official hashtag, you can see the ‘noise’ that exhibitors, visitors and the show organisers are making, and it’ll mean you're less likely to miss something that you may want and need to know. It really can help you to keep your finger on the pulse of the show.
- Be social. Social events are always excellent places to network and meet people. I try and go to as many as I can
- Try and leave a short time before or after the show, as at peak times, thousands of people are looking for taxis which means that you could wait a long time. I always ask those in the line if they’re going to the same place or near to where I’m going and if I can share. Sharing can be a fun way to meet people and potential customers
- Look to see how close Las Vegas Monorail goes to your hotel. There are seven stops along the Strip. Be careful though as the buildings are close together and tall and can appear closer than they really are which means that you could end up walking more than you planned. Even though you may be tired from all the walking at the show, it’s important to remember that jaywalking is a misdemeanor and in Las Vegas carries a $160 fine, so please don’t take short cuts and use the crossings
- And finally, most importantly enjoy yourself and smile. Having an approachable attitude really does pay off!
Please join me at ConExpo March 10th – 14th. I’ll be there with my FB Chain colleagues and would love to meet you, so be sure to stop by our booth #S81647.