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Tips for an exceptional trade show experience

Trade shows can offer opportunities for any entrepreneur looking to move up in the world of business.
By Robyn Villanueva |
<>Trade shows are prime networking opportunities. When speaking to potential contacts, don’t brush them off in favor of texts or calls. It’s a good idea to put your phone on silent mode before you approach someone to talk. Also, notes will be invaluable during this experience since it will help you reconnect with your new contacts later as well as record all the new things you’ve learned.


Ang also offers advice on what to look for at trade shows:  “They have to look for exhibitors that offer special deals exclusively for the exhibit. For example restaurant owners can get kitchen equipment at special deals or discounts if they get it during the show. They must check out companies that offer similar products so they get to compare price points, quality, service, warranty, delivery and other add-ons that differentiate suppliers.


He says, "Expos are one-stop-shop venues for a particular industry. This is the only chance where you get to find a bunch of suppliers offering similar and different products. The expos give attendees an overview of their options and opportunities.”



Always be on the lookout for a good deal since this is a rare opportunity. However, this doesn’t mean you should pounce on the first “good deal” that comes your way. If you followed Ang’s earlier advice about knowing the floor plan, navigation will be a breeze which will allow you to be systematic about the booths you visit. This will permit you to comparison shop and get a better deal. A trade show is a wealth of “good deals” but that doesn’t necessarily mean that deal will be a good fit for your business. You owe it to yourself to find the best deals for your venture among all the “good deals” on offer.


When you finally start talking to a supplier, Ang urges caution and attention to detail. “Typically, visitors need to ask the supplier if: they can meet their quantity requirements; what\\\'s the minimum order quantity; the lead time from production to delivery; is it produced locally or do they have to wait for their suppliers abroad; where else in the country are the products available for future purchases; how is the product\\\'s quality different from similar products of other companies; are there special deals they can offer during the expo; contact details so the visitor may reach them even after the expo.”



You need to make certain that the supplier can cater to your needs. In this situation, there is no such thing as a “stupid question.” It’s better to be safe than sorry. Ask as much as you can about the services offered by the supplier and, as mentioned earlier, take notes. With all these tips in mind, you’re certain to have a successful trade show experience.


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