Friday 14 June 2019

Going to Exhibitions

One of the useful activities a business owner/executive can undertake is to attend national trade exhibitions. It need only take the investment of  a couple of days a year of your time, but the long term rewards can be great. It helps to keep your trade knowledge current and can help you spot new opportunities. I've been going to such exhibitions for over thirty years, and one soon learns techniques to make the best use of your time while you are visiting.

Sometimes it is worthwhile visiting stands where you already know the exhibitors quite well, because it gives them the opportunity to show you new products and services they might not show to you during the normal course of business. However the best opportunities are obtained by cruising the exhibition floor and stopping by stands that might have a product/service that piques your interest. 

Often conversations with exhibitors will lead on to discoveries you'd not seen at first glance as you pass the exhibition stand. You soon learn to ignore the trinkets artfully placed on the stand to slow you down and thus give the salesman a chance to descend on you. You also learn to avoid eye contact with the barkers/touts who are engaged to engage you with chance conversation. Your time, spent getting to and attending, is precious, save it for those products which are genuinely interesting.

I tend to ignore the "seminars", mostly the information is boring and a poor return for your investment.

However some exhibition organisers can go over the top in "preparing" you for the exhibition, taking a nannying and patronising approach! Here's an extract from one of the multiple emails arriving in advance.

"Check your route"...  I travel the globe on my own for business, finding the location of of an exhibition is not exactly difficult! The people sending these types of emails were probably just cells in the ovaries of a young teenage girl when I started attending trade exhibitions.