There are tens of thousands of people in the building, all buzzing around over 1,000 exhibitors, each of which pushing multiple products. That’s a lot to process, even for an InfoComm veteran.
But how veterans approach the floor at InfoComm versus how newcomers (and the disorganized) do are two very, very different methods.
Last week, our editor-at-large Craig MacCormack, one such trade show veteran, held a webinar with InfoComm’s director of expositions content Rachel Bradshaw and Alan Brawn and Jonathan Brawn of Brawn Consulting.
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The four of them dived deep into what steps one can take to maximize your time on the floor without experiencing a sensory overload.
If you didn’t take time before InfoComm to plan for each day, you’re already somewhat unprepared – but there’s still time to earn that ROI. Check out the following tips from Craig’s webinar.
The Morning Gameplan
The first thing you should do each day before even leaving your hotel room is check the social media accounts of your favorite industry reps, media, and hashtags (#AVTweeps, #InfoComm, and #InfoComm17 all come to mind).
Did anything catch your eye? How does what you saw online line up with your purpose for attending InfoComm?
The Initial Sweep
When you first make it to the floor, resist the urge to chat with familiar faces. Don’t get swept up in the veritable windstorm of major product announcements and displays.
Stay focused: do a broad sweep, end-to-end, and jot down some quick notes while you walk. What are the essential stops? What must you make time for before the clock strikes 5 and the floor closes? Circle back to those big priorities, and wherever possible, negotiate some time for smaller manufacturers, too, since the larger booths will typically receive more foot traffic earlier in the show.
“You never know when you might find a solution in one of these small, 10 x 16 booths,” says Alan Brawn, who has visited InfoComm over 35 times.
The Email Update
Don’t accept too much in the way of literature and pamphlets from the exhibitors, or else you’ll end up with a mountain of paperwork which doesn’t ultimately give you anything actionable. Have them scan your badge or provide them with a business card instead. Be aware that if you provide the exhibitor with an email, they are very liable to get back to you soon with requests for booth tours. Check your email early and often throughout the day to ensure every opportunity is taken advantage of.
The Lunchtime Meetup
Some of the vendors open “free lunch” opportunities where they’ll pitch their products but give participants some time to rest, too. Take advantage of this if the company in question piques your curiosity or is in line with your goals. Some of the most valuable networking time at InfoComm doesn’t take place on the floor, but rather over a plate of food. Dinner is another time to meet with new contacts.
The Evening Wind-Down
Take time each night from within your hotel room to make note of who you didn’t get to see – and reach out digitally! Take the time to set objectives for the next day, while you’re at it.