In work circles, the summer months tend to be the season perfect for exhibitions, so rather than going along to the next one in the calendar and figuring out all the dos and don’ts yourself, read over our tips for being a happy attendee and enjoy the exhibition as it was intended to be.
Plan ahead – plan exactly how you’re going to get there. Public transport in unfamiliar locations can cause unnecessary stress so plan your journey the night before and make sure you arrive in plenty of time. Killing 10 minutes with a cup of coffee is far preferable to stressing over which bus to catch.
Plan your day. Research the exhibitors before you go and identify exactly who you want to see. If it’s a large show then plan ahead and pre-book appointments with those you really want to see, this way you’ll spend less time waiting in queues.
Another good tip is to try and arrive in time for the keynote speech. Generally event organisers will have spent a decent proportion of the budget in getting in a speaker who will set a positive and lively tone, so it is worth catching them if you can. Their inspirational anecdotes will help get you in the right mood for the day.
In most exhibitions it will involve much tramping up and down the same aisles – your Fitbit will love you, however your feet may not if you’re wearing impractical footwear. An exhibition day is most definitely a day for flatties and a light jacket.
Walking and talking the talk all day can be exhausting. Keep your energy up by planning regular breaks to eat and stay hydrated – it’s just not appropriate to yawn when stopping by to chat to an exhibitor.
(no not the fast food kind!)
Try and make notes to take back to the office. No matter how good you think your memory is, chances are you’ll forget that vital bit of information. Take detailed notes or action bullet points if that’s easier. You’ll be grateful of them when you’re back behind your desk.
And the most important one of all! Don’t forget to pick up the freebies (pens, mugs and more pens!) You’ll be doing the exhibitors a favour anyway as they won’t want to cart it all back, you’ll be promoting their brand after-all so they’ll thank you for it. Grab what you can.