Top 10 Tips for a First Time Trade Show Attendee

  1. Come with a plan for what booths you would like to visit- most shows offer some type of map so you can organize the best route through the show floor.
  2. Wear comfy shoes, but prepare for blisters or sore feet. Going from a desk job to standing for 8+ hours on a cement convention center floor will surely lead to battered feet. Bringing a stock of band-aids isn’t a bad idea either.
  3. Have alternate food plans, or take lunch during the off hours; you will get stuck standing in lines and eating on the floor if you wait to eat during regular lunch hours.
  4. Take notes; you will forget who you meet after the dozens of people start to swim together. Most exhibitors follow up with an email, but it never hurts to jot down a few notes on a business card so you have a frame of reference after the show.
  5. Don’t rush! There is plenty of time, no matter how giant the exhibit hall feels. Give yourself time to explore booths you might not have thought to check out, and take the time to see how technology continues to advance.
  6. Bring a sweater- exhibit halls are often cold!Millwood Promat
  7. Bring water with you; from the hotel, from a convenience store, just anywhere but the exhibit hall. The vending machines are usually empty by the second day, and avoiding them all together is a great way to save money. The exhibit halls can also be dry or dusty, so having water on hand is a good way to stay healthy throughout the show.
  8. Hand sanitizer Speaking of staying healthy you will be shaking many, many hands during the course of a trade show. The better health you are in to start the more quickly you’ll recover from the “trade show hangover” that plagues so many exhausted, traveling attendees. Get a jump-start on yours before your flight home.
  9. Take advantage of networking opportunities. There are usually events, meet and greets, informational seminars, dinners and parties to give attendees the chance to connect with industry professionals. Do not miss the chance to meet the next great mind in packaging!
  10. And finally, a word about swag: the best giveaways are often only available the first day or two of the show, but most exhibitors are so desperate to get rid of leftovers they’ll be begging you to take them off their hands by the last day.

pack expo
 Still unsure if Pack Expo is right for you? Use Millwood's comp code 42C28 to register for FREE! The show will be held October 14-17 at McCormick Place in Chicago. Find Millwood at booth #1754. 

Author: Paige Greene

Categories: trade show