Jun 4, 2014 | Posted by Matt Elson
Mark Clarkson and I attended the 2014 Timmins Mining Expo on Wednesday, May 28th. It’s the largest mining tradeshow in central Canada, with over 380 exhibitors and speakers. Since this is our second time at the event, we thought we would share some of our lessons learned about how to survive and thrive at tradeshows.
Parking is at a premium, and traffic can get quite hectic, so arrive early and get a good parking spot. Within walking distance is preferable to waiting for the shuttle.
Get a program and exhibitor guide ahead of time and plan your activities and people you want to see. We found using a simple highlighter was helpful.
The show is big and spread out, so you’re going to do a lot of walking! Make sure your feet aren’t on fire after 2 hours.
There’s a lot going on, so it’s easy to forget about your basic needs. Drinking enough water helps to keep your mind sharp throughout the day.
Take a casual walk around to make initial observations; confirm the people you wanted to see. There’s a lot to take in, so try not to get overwhelmed…just let it all sink in.
There’s a lot of people with a HUGE amount of knowledge in their fields. If you are going to learn something, you have to listen!
Make sure to get their contact information (business card, LinkedIn profile, etc.) so you can follow-up and thank them for their insights into their industry.
Dedicate enough time to accomplish your objectives for the show, and don’t let anything distract you. Don’t take lengthy calls or emails…stay focused on the show and having good conversations.
Is there anything that we missed? Did we accomplish what we set out do? It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement, so take a minute to calmly reflect.
Let your network know the value of the event that you just attended, so they can make their own evaluations of the event.
(This is kind of a bonus tip!)
You can literally leave a trade show with multiple bags full of free stuff, so use it! Bottles of water, pens, etc. always come in handy! (I’m a bit of a nut when it comes to swag…anything with a logo on it, I love!)