Surviving and getting the best out of trade shows this season

Trade shows are a great way to network, keep up with the publishing industry, and just have some fun! Here are some simple ways to get the most out of them. Some may seem obvious, but our experience shows they bear mentioning.

•    Book a hotel room early. Look for one offering free breakfast to save money.
•    Make a list of the booths/people 
you want to visit ahead of time 
and make them a priority. Schedule appointments early, if possible.
•    Wear very comfortable shoes. Fashion is not worth suffering for and missing an appointment because your feet gave out is an awful excuse!
•    Talk to everyone! You never know who you’ll meet in the restroom, on the shuttle bus, or in the elevator.
•    Bring a small notebook and double-sided tape. Immediately after talking with someone, tape their business card inside the book and make notes. With all of the surrounding excitement, you’re not going to remember that fabulous conversation twenty minutes later without them.
•    Bring plenty of business cards and promo pieces. Give them out freely.
•    Take any classes that are available. The purpose of these shows is to network and learn.
•    Bring a bottle of water and a snack. Trade show food is expensive and the food court lines are long.
•    Be selective on the freebies you gather. You’ll have to carry them around and you don’t really want to visit your chiropractor again, do you?
•    Take a few moments to soak up the atmosphere. You may feel like a small fish at times, but you are a part of this industry, so enjoy.

Yes, trade shows can be expensive and tiring, but they’re oh, so exciting. The connections you make can be invaluable in boosting your confidence, publishing efforts, and bottom line. Use your time and money wisely and enjoy the whole experience!