If you go to the Golf Industry Show with only a hint of a plan, you may end up not making the best of your time.
It doesn’t take long to set some goals and even strategize a bit for your time at the show. We plan and organize on a daily basis anyway, right? It’s part of the job. So it only makes sense to plan and organize for attending the conference.
Here’s 10 quick tips that may help you better utilize your time during the show:
- Know your goals. Identify the key reason you’re attending the trade show. This may seem simplistic, but it really is a good question to ask yourself. Why am I going? What do I need? What do I hope to accomplish?
- Education, trade show or both? Decide early on if you want to try to attend a seminar or two or just the trade show. Don’t wait until the last minute. Sometimes getting some education in will work for you, other times it might be better to get in and focus on the trade show.
- Have a game plan. Set specific goals for traversing the trade show. The trade show floor can be an imposing place. You can eliminate any trepidation you may feel by having a detailed plan. Who do you want to talk with? What do you want to see? Prioritize your wish list. Have a “Definitely” list and an “If I have time” list.
- Stay on track. In conjunction with the previous tip, make sure you don’t get sidetracked. I remember a few years ago spending a good hour at a booth with someone, and then walking away thinking, “Why did I just do that? I’m not even interested in the product.” Quick conversations are fine, but don’t waste an hour talking with someone just because the conversation is stimulating. Make sure you get through your list.
- Schedule meetings. Before the conference, make some calls and set up some times to meet people. Depending on the importance of each person, this can be at the show or maybe for lunch or dinner. Or even golf.
- Travel light. I’m thinking more of the actual trade show adventure here than the trip there. It’s a lot of walking. Don’t get burdened with a bunch of brochures and pamphlets and goofy giveaways that you really don’t need. All the info you need about a product can be sent to you or found online. Keep notes instead.
- Focus. Keep your phone out of your hands during conversations. This one is starting to drive me nuts. Nothing is ruder than being in the middle of a conversation with someone when he suddenly grabs his phone and starts texting while still trying to talk to you at the same time.
- Strike up a conversation. Realize networking is not easy for anyone. I’ve always been intimidated by networking. I don’t find it easy or natural. The thing is, though, few people do. Almost everyone walking around the show feels exactly the same way you do. Initiating a conversation with someone you’ve never met before is usually the most difficult part; once the conversation gets going, the hard part is over.
- See the city. I always try and spend at least half a day checking out the host city of the conference. This is hardly enough time to see all the sights, but at least it gives you a chance to get a taste of the local flavor. By the way, this doesn’t mean spending half a day at the Alamo.
- What happens in San Antonio doesn’t stay in San Antonio. Network, learn and absorb information. Better equip yourself to be an improved professional. Have fun. Stay safe.
Don’t let the tradeshow hustle and bustle slow you down – recharge your batteries at one of our two CIVITAS Stay Connected areas equipped with couches and charging stations for your phones and laptops.