How to Actively Attend a Trade Show and Derive the Benefits

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Sometimes attending a tradeshow as a spectator is a good way to gain insight, learn about your industry, see what other companies are doing. It is also a great way and gain a better understanding of new technology or ideas that pertain to your line of work, and possibly improve your own exhibits in the future. But when you’re attending a tradeshow, it’s important to go to that show with a few key ideas in mind, or attend a show actively.

Here’s how to get the most out of the next show that you attend.

Figure out what your point is in attending a show.

What do you want to learn? Who do you want to connect with? What do you hope to get out of a show? Ask yourself these questions, and then proceed to do some research.

Find out who’s going to be at the show, and research those companies

There might be some companies that you want to connect with before a show too, and you can do this through social networks. This allows you to plan a better path through the show floor and manage your time wisely. Allowing for more quality interaction between you and the exhibitors you are focused on speaking with.

Learn to network as much as possible

Try and figure out what you will say to the people you meet, how you will introduce yourself, and what you will tell people about your company or product. In short, a small elevator pitch will work wonders. If you can prep a pitch in advance, you will have an advantage.


No, really! Listening is a true skill, and it’s one that most people never practice. If you are attending a show actively (as you should be), take the time to really listen to those people that you seek out. Try and focus on what’s being said whether it is a lecture, educational course, or just a chat with someone you want to connect with. Not only will you learn more, but the person talking with understand that you’re really listening, and that will get you a lot of respect.

Realize that some people you come in contact with might know other people

Maybe you didn’t intend on talking to the person you spent a hour or more talking to, but that person may know someone else – you never know who you are speaking with, so practice those listening and networking skills on everyone you meet.

Gather notes for next time

If you are not setting up tradeshow booth displays this time around, make sure to take careful notes for the next show that you do attend. Did any exhibit design catch your eye? Did you see something that you really loved or didn’t like? If you can make a list of these things and take some photos while you are there, you can have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t when you do attend your next event as an exhibitor.

Putting all the information to use

Attending tradeshow events and be exciting as just a regular patron of the industry. Gleaming insights into how and why your competitors used certain displays, design, and features can help make your future exhibit structure more productive. This also will confirm what is working well on your current exhibit configuration. Networking with industry colleagues during and after the show can really give you insight to what others enjoyed as well giving you a more robust understanding of what you can do to make the most of your next tradeshow.

Data is king and the more you gather the better your chances of success during the next event you are exhibiting at. The summation of everything you gathered as an active attendee will propel your future exhibiting success.

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