Several of the BIOTONE team will be heading out for Las Vegas at the end of the week for the IECSC show. I'll be among them. I've lost count of how many industry trade shows I've attended in the nearly 30 years we've been in business. Tradeshows are a lot of fun, but they are a lot of work. Still I find that the opportunity to have face-to-face meetings is invaluable. I'm hoping to see some of you at IECSC and look forward to hearing how your business is going and what more BIOTONE can do for you.

As much work as it is for vendors to have a presence at tradeshows, I know that it's work for attendees as well. I've walked many an industry tradeshow floor myself. It can be overwhelming to figure out where to go, find the right people at each booth to answer your questions, and try not to lug too many printed materials back home. We're making that part easier for you and doing our part for the environment - Thursday is after all Earth Day - by printing less materials and putting more information online.

Here's my recommended trade show action plan:

  • Decide ahead of time what booths you want to visit and organize your list. You may want to organize your list into 'must see' and 'will see if time permits' to be sure you get to the people most important to you.

  • Get a map of the exhibit floor and plan your route in advance, so you aren't backtracking a lot. This is especially important if your time is limited.

  • Determine in advance what you want to find out from each exhibitor; have questions ready. You might even want to take notes so have pen and paper handy.

  • Have lots of business cards ready to leave at the booths and for networking. Networking with others at the show can be as important as visiting exhibitor booths.

  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes and take breaks, including time to get fresh air. It's draining to spend time on the tradeshow floor and the stale, dry air has a lot to do with it.

You probably have your own tried-and-true suggestions for navigating tradeshows, or any large group meeting for that matter, to make sure you accomplish what you set out to do. Love to hear about them.