August 19, 2013

Getting the Most Benefit from Trade Shows and Conferences

Wholesale 101
There are lots of trade shows, expositions, and conferences that business people are invited to attend.  Ever wonder what value attending one might have for your business?  If you already know the value of attendance, do you know how to get the most out of the experience?  Below are 8 reasons to go to these events and some ideas on how to get the most out of attendance from the book Wholesale 101 by Jason Prescott.

Reasons to Attend:
1.       Create and develop relationships with new partners
2.       Become an information magnet
3.       Attend seminars and networking events
4.       Work your way to the top of the supply chain
5.       Explore differences in working with international versus domestic suppliers
6.       Discover the latest trends
7.       Make invaluable contacts
8.       Stimulate your mind and have a blast!

Ideas to Get the Most from Attendance (most from book plus a few from me :)
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes as you will walk a lot
  • Dress in business casual because you are a representative your company
  • Take lip balm and breath mints as you will be talking to lots of people
  • Bring a camera to take pictures of interesting booths and exhibits to enhance your visual memory later of what you want to follow up on (way better than just a business card)
  • Bring a voice recorder to dictate personal notes and capture great ideas (turn into written notes later)
  • Use a roller bag rather than a tote to easily transport all those handouts and vendor materials
  • Bring your business cards so you do not have to fill out vendor forms
  • Get vendor business cards and write product you want to follow-up on the back so you do not forget why you have the card
  • Gather other attendee business cards so you can build a network of advisors (be sure to list why you might find them helpful on back of their card immediately)
  • Bring shipping labels with your name and address on them to give to vendors so they can mail you a catalog once you both return to your offices
  • Have a smart phone or tablet handy to look of websites of vendors for more details after leaving their booth

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