Tomorrow I'll be at the Central CaliforniaWomen's Conference. I love trade shows for many reasons, including but not limited to, finding out about new businesses and services, seeing business friends, and of course, all the little giveaway items.
It seems contrarian, but trade shows are excellent for shy or beginning networkers. I think that sometimes shy people think other people think you're weird if you're just standing there not talking to anyone (they don't!), but at a trade show, you can just walk along at your own pace, not saying anything, just taking it all in, and you won't look weird!
You don't even have to initiate conversations. Approach the booth, pick up some literature, and the person behind the table will start the conversation! How easy is that?
Plus, it helps you be seen (be sure to wear a name badge). Remember, it's not as much about who you know, as who knows you. It's why you should always drop your name in their giveaway basket. Sure, you'll get a sales letter or call, but at least they'll have been exposed to your name, title, and company, at least once or twice.