Trade shows are great places to really become invested in your industry, share your brand benefits and network with like-minded people and businesses.
Given many events take place internationally today, there is also the chance to create partnerships and professional relationships with people and businesses you wouldn’t otherwise get the chance in your own country.
Trade shows allow you to not only sell your own products but look at ways to improve them based on what your competition is doing.
Here are our top tips to help make the most out of your experience at IAAPA Expo 2019 this year:
1. Do Event Research
Begin by laying a platform our to achieve success at IAAPA Expo 2019 far even before setting foot in the expo itself.
Like many things in life, being prepared will allow you to have a clear idea of what you want to get out of this year's IAAPA Expo and how to go about doing so.
As the saying goes, failing to plan is a plan to fail. Here are some things you can do before IAAPA:
- Learn who is attending the show – a good idea is to create lists of who you want to meet with, which businesses offer something your FEC could utilize.
- Know your FEC target market – who are they and what would they like to see in your FEC.
- Create a schedule – clearly list the who, what, where and when of each meeting.
- Make a cheat sheet – it can be difficult to remember exactly everything that your FEC may need so keep a little booklet or sheet on you.
- Book a Meeting - Make sure to book all your appointments ahead of time. People get busy, schedules change and meeting up can be difficult at a very large conference center venue.
- Check out Newest Games & Hardware - See what's hot and trending in the industry. Experience them first hand so you'll readily know what your guests can expect.
2. Set Your Event Goals
You don’t want to arrive at IAAPA Expo with no aim or direction.
Even if you’re working tirelessly, having no goal you’re working towards can mean that you invest too much time and effort into areas that don’t need it.
When setting your goals, you also need to make sure that they align with the long-term objectives of your business. Here are things you may want to focus on:
- Increase brand awareness – this might not relate too heavily to local FECs but getting your name out there can only be positive for your business.
- Find partnerships – you should go into every meeting aiming to create a partnership with the business and better your FEC.
- Build on existing connections – it might seem like wasted time but having a strong relationship with a potential partner might be more beneficial than having many weaker ones.
- Compare products – look around at the competition, who are other FECs meeting with, what technology are they looking for?
3. Put a Plan and Strategy Together
Similarly, to the two points above, it is key that you’ve planned out your time at IAAPA Expo, specifically thinking about your meetings.
Do you know every detail of what your FEC needs, who is your main target market and what they would like, do you speak the same language as those you are meeting with?
You need to take all of this into account when planning for each meeting ensuring that you not only make the most out of it from a business perspective but are able to develop a strong personal and professional relationship.
4. It's IAAPA Showtime
During the trade show it's important you remain active and open to networking opportunities, which is much easier said than done.
As the work piles up, you’ll likely get quite run down, however it's important you push on and continue to make the most out of your time at IAAPA Expo.
5. How to create an amazing IAAPA experience:
- Remember your FEC needs – Keep in mind what business could do to benefit your FEC when you are meeting, however, don’t let it restrict you from networking.
- Be open to opportunities – You never know where casual conversation can lead and what partnership it may bring.
- Network! Network! Network! - You never know which business your FEC may partner with or who may be able to help, so cast a wide net.
- Take notes – Make sure you take notes on anything not already written down in meetings, don’t just trust yourself to remember any important information.
- Ask questions – If you don’t quite understand something don’t hesitate to clarify.
- Recognize new and fading trends – Look around, what are FECs doing now? What things are you seeing less of?
6. Keep Working Hard
Once the trade show is over you may think your work is done, unfortunately not.
While you’ll definitely need to relax, it is just as important to put in the work after IAAPA Expo to make the most of the hard work you’ve done at the trades how itself. Here are some tips for managing the work after IAAPA:
- Separate the contacts you made – you'll likely have a large list of contacts, which can be sorted based around how useful they can be to your FEC.
- Record everything – make sure you keep a list of all your contacts and don’t miss anyone you networked with.
- Stick to your word – if you tell someone you’ll follow up with them, make sure you do it. There is a chance you will see them at other trade shows or become partners with their business so keep a positive relationship.
- Review your performance – take a look at your goals and see how well you’ve completed them.
7. Take the Mobile Wallet Tour at IAAPA
Swing by and experience Embed's new booth at IAAPA Expo.
Win daily prizes, enjoy afternoon happy hours and mingle with other Embed customers.