Attending a trade show can be hectic and exhausting. Here are some tips to get the most of your trade show experience.

Before the show:

  • Have a plan of what you want to accomplish.
  • Make a list of must see booths and want to see booths. Download the floor map and circle the vendors you want to visit. This will help you stay on task and also help you plan a route through the massive exhibition floor. There's enough walking to do as it is!
  • Make appointments with vendors you want to do business with ahead of time and put them in your calendar.
  • Make sure to pack leaving enough room to add any marketing materials you've gathered, along with gifts/prizes.
  • When planning your travel, think outside the box for accommodations. Hotels near the show can be very expensive. Take a look at sites like for alternative and much cheaper options.

During the show:

  • Wear comfortable shoes! Walking all day can be tiresome, but many times there are after events you might want to attend straight from the show leaving no time to get back to the hotel to change.
  • Carry a small backpack. There are always gifts, catalogs and sales sheets to pick up and you will get tired of lugging it all around.
  • Use the floor map you've made and make the most of your time.
  • Divide and conquer! If you're with co-workers, split up the floor between you with specific goals of what each person should accomplish.

After the show:

  • No matter how tired you are after each day, take a few minutes to go over the materials you picked up and take some notes. Keeping organized each day will help you return with good information and a solid plan of action.
  • Look at each opportunity not only as how it can benefit your business, but also take notice of how they are marketing their business. You could get some great marketing ideas!

We're looking forward to seeing all of you at this year's NRA show in Chicago May 16-19th. We're at booth number 1549 so stop by and say hi!