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How to Survive the Next Trade Show

Trade show season is officially upon us here at Blue Sky Network! We’re extremely excited to meet with customers, attend engaging workshops, and network with other industry professionals.

But with so much to do in only a few short days, we know the experience can seem a bit overwhelming. Veteran trade show attendee and Vice President of Sales, Nick Tucky, shares a few tips on how to survive your next one, including what’s going in his survival kit.

1. Create a game plan
According to a 2020 survey¹, the average trade show attendee will spend 8.3 hours visiting exhibits. Make the most of your time by knowing which booths you’d like to stop at beforehand. Most trade show websites post an online map, and larger events have a free app you can download to help you navigate the floor. When you walk in through the event doors, try not to get distracted by booths and companies that aren’t on your radar; however, allocate a block of time at the end of the show to check out new technologies.

It’s also important to note that the person you wish to speak with may not be the same one who’s manning the booth when you visit. If there’s a company you are particularly eager to meet with, you may want to book a meeting with the appropriate team member ahead of time.

2. Make your business cards versatile
Got a burning question for an exhibitor at a busy booth? Write it on the back of your business card and give it to a representative. This should reduce the possibility of it getting overlooked by preoccupied staff and ensure you get an answer, even if it’s after the show.

With this in mind, take more business cards than you think you need, but give them out wisely—otherwise, you’ll receive a deluge of emails from more people than you want to hear from.

3. Spend time with your enemies
You know the saying about keeping your enemies closer. If your competition will be at the show, this is the perfect opportunity to scope out what products they’re offering and see if there’s anything to be concerned about. Take it one step further by inviting them to a dinner or happy hour.

4. Use pictures to jog your memory
By the end of the event, chances are your bag will be full of literature from companies that you may not remember too well now. Taking pictures of the booths that interest you will help match the brochures and business cards with the organizations you visited and people you spoke with. Photos can also be useful during the show when determining which booths to circle back to at the end.

5. Look after your liver
There will be way too many opportunities to indulge after hours, and possibly even during the event! Though fun at the time, a noisy, bustling trade show environment and constant conversation will not pair well with a next-day hangover. If you do overindulge, be on the lookout for booths offering free bottled water and hydration tablets. Better yet, be the booth you wish to see in the world and hand out those goodies yourself (it was quite the hit the year we did)!

So, what’s going in Nick’s survival kit? A business card holder and a significant number of cards, for reasons stated above. Snacks to get through the day; event food is usually pricey, not always healthy, and there can be long lines. Plenty of gum (no explanation needed) and ibuprofen to help with the long days of walking will also be in there. Finally, a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer will come in handy during these COVID times.

Overall, Nick says, try to enjoy it as much as possible. With recent data² showing that more than 90% of attendees are on the hunt for new products, it’s easy to see why your presence at the event is so important. Whether you’re offering or searching for the latest and greatest, use the time as strategically as possible to make the most out of your attendance.

Meet us at our next show!
Would you like to meet with Nick, our CEO Tucker Morrison, or one of our other sales members at an upcoming show?
From March 7-10, come visit us at HAI Heli-Expo booth 8007 in Dallas, TX, where we’ll be showcasing several of our innovative aviation solutions.

From March 21-24, we’ll be at Satellite 2022 in Washington, DC, with our award-winning SkyLink device.
Use this link to schedule a meeting time at either show >

¹ The Tradeshow Network Marketing Group. (2020, November 12). 20 Powerful Stats on the
Value of Trade Shows and Expos.
² Darko. (2020, January 20). 22 Important Trade Show Statistics.