Attending exhibitions and trade shows can be really exciting but also quite painful, your feet will hurt after a long day walking from stand to stand. You have to go prepared.
- First of all, forget the high heels, honestly. You really want a pair of comfortable flat shoes. Secondly, you need a big bag.
- If you heard of people going to trade shows with hand luggage, is not a fairy tail. You will be given tonnes of brochures but also you can get samples and occasionally small gifts from brands to try and take home. These days, brands are usually prepared with branded tote bags packed with brochures, business cards and often pen or pencils, so even if you forget one, there will be plenty to grab! Sometimes they have memory sticks, but they may run of them by the end of the busy day.
- You will also need a personal notebook or iPad, although your mobile phone notepad will be handy as well, just take a quick note of a name of the brand you interested, as it may happen they will run of their promotional packages. Technology is also a good saver in this case, as most large shows like NEC Birmingham or Surface Design Show operate on scan code. When you register, you will provide your email address and once you chat with a representative of stand you are interested in their products, they can just simply scan your badge and send you later all requested samples or brochures. If you attending shows that are spread over various locations like Clerkenwell Design Week, then your personal notepad it’s a must have.
- Large trade shows like Ideal Home Show, have their own places to grab a bite but if you’re going to various sites, is good to have a sandwich in your bag., especially if you run on a short schedule between seminars, you can just eat while listen and saves you waiting in queues.
- Make yourself a list of seminars, talks and brands you want to see and save the stand names. Most likely you will be given a timetable brochure but sometimes you have to pay for these. If you are very savvy like me, it’s easier to just take your notes and write names of companies you want to visit, but often is just easy to ask other exhibitors and they will direct you. It’s easy to forget who you wanted to see, or forget time while you browsing so setting a timer in your phone is a good solution.
I usually rush coming to each town for an event only for few hours. I always regret that I am only going for a day. I promised myself that my next interior trade shows, will be over 2 days so I can enjoy the show and finish up with a fancy cocktail and dinner and then I have plenty of time next day to explore the city as well. You should consider that too! I also really hope, one day I will be invited to Milan, Paris & New York but also my dream is to go to Singapore or Copenhagen… even just for a one day!