Trade shows offer a unique opportunity to see what is happening in your industry. You get the chance to play with new gadgets, make connections and talk about what you have going on. Trade shows are not open to everyone, however. You need to know how to get into the hottest trade shows of 2013 to ensure you are there.
To attend a trade show you have to be registered to do so. It is critical that you get registered as soon as possible to ensure a spot, a plane ticket if you need one and a hotel room close to where the show is being held. You need to be sure that you will attend before committing because many trade shows, such as SXSW, will not refund the registration fees.
If you remain undecided until the last minute, some shows that still have space will allow you to walk in during the show and get registered. This is not nearly as beneficial as planning far in advance though.
Go for a Speaking Gig
Those that attend the shows solely to speak almost always get out of paying an attendance fee. You will be able to talk and give some promotion to what you have to offer, as well as connect with those that could possibly help you out in the future. If you want to attend a trade show purely to network and get your name out there, speaking may be a great option for you.
Now, trade shows will not just let anyone walk in and speak. You will have to work on your speech well in advance, get it to the show organizers and wait for their verdict. To give yourself the best shot of getting a speaking spot you need to get a client that you can include in your presentation and do not focus solely on your company. This speech must be original, educational and something that people will remember.
Getting Your Ducks in a Row
You have to make sure that the stuff the show organizers need is in their hands as soon as possible. Forgetting a piece of paperwork could result in you not being able to attend. When you speak to the event coordinators, take a detailed list of everything they say that you will need. Keep this list with you and bring it to the show. You also want to jot down the names and contact information for everyone you speak too. People make mistakes, but you do not want to get burned by someone else’s mistake.
Choose the Right Event
If you are a foodie, then the American Food Fair is where you want to be. If you love film and music, SXSW is the coveted trade show. To get the best opportunities to network, you have to be at the right show. Throughout the year there are often many different shows for the same industry. For example, there are car trade shows everywhere throughout the year. You need to do your research do determine which one is best for you to attend and not all trade shows are created equal. Once you figure out the right show, do research on places to stay, how to get registered and what you can expect once you are there.
About the Author: Thomas has been writing about trade show topics online for companies like nimloktradeshowdisplays.com for the past 10 years. When not writing or attending shows, he can be found at home with his family or out at the gym practicing his boxing.