What about you? Do you go to trade shows for the door prizes, free food, and entertainment? Or do you have a clear purpose? If you don't know what to do at a trade show beyond pick up free pens, here are a few thoughts:
- Reconnect with some of your long lost contacts. Trade shows attract a lot of people - there's got to be someone among all those people whom you've lost track of.
- Pick up on business trends. Take out the program/directory and see which industries seem to be thriving ... and which aren't.
- If you're not buying, at least you're learning about products and services you might need in the future.
- Get your name out there. While it's cheesy to sell yourself to the vendors at a trade show, toss your business card in their bucket. They'll look through the cards and at least learn a little bit about your business.
- Find unexpected opportunities. I discovered that there is a new trade show coming to the area that needs speakers on a range of topics.