For this week’s #TMITuesday, we’re bringing Mojo’s best event and trade show survival tips! Events can be both physically and mentally exhausting. We put together a few tips to help keep you feeling good and making the most of your time on the trade show floor:
Angela Leavitt, Founder & Chief Mojo-Making Officer
To make the most of an event, preparation is key. This is a process I like to follow to make sure I meet with as many of the right people as possible.
- Create and send an email campaign to anyone in your current database that you’d like to meet with. Let them know you’ll be attending and when your availability is to meet. Make sure to send a few emails spread out over a few weeks to get the best results:
- Research the vendors and sponsors of the event to create a list of who you’d like to meet with. Then use LinkedIn to find the specific contacts within those companies, and invite them to connect. Once connected, a simple “Are you attending ABC event? It would be great to meet in person!” will help you set more appointments.
- Create a follow-up plan before you leave for the show, and think about how you will add value to the people you meet. You’ll also want to properly categorize the people you meet so your follow-up is easier. I like to use single-letter codes like H for hot leads, W for warm and P for potential partners. Then I simply drop the right contact into the corresponding campaign, and my follow-up is ready to go!
Juliana Kenny, Content Manager
Event survival tip #1: I get hungry every 2 hours, and I’m not about to apologize for that. Over the years of trade show mania I’ve discovered that keeping snacks on me makes me feel like a human, and keeps my blood sugar up enough to make it through those busy show days.
Preferably, the snacks aren’t total garbage and include healthier items like nuts, oats, dried fruit, and other fibrous foods. I make my own granola bars packed with those ingredients for showtime, but I use chocolate chips instead of raisins because I’m a fun person.
Event survival tip #2: This tip may only apply to female event-goers, but I try on every outfit I plan on bringing as I pack for a show. That way, I’m not surprised day-of when a skirt that fit last year doesn’t fit this year, or when a favorite blouse has holes in it.
Also, it minimizes the stress of putting together outfits bleary-eyed in a hotel room, and I have one less thing to worry about.
Should male event-goers also do this? Comment below!
Justine Dolorfino-Thieman, Digital Strategist
I have a few things that I always do at tradeshows and events to make sure it’s as smooth as possible.
First, I try to drink as much water as possible throughout the day as well as during any events where libations are served. I actually start this prior to the day I fly out, since airplanes always leave me feeling dehydrated.
Staying hydrated throughout the event helps me keep my energy up through long days.
I bring at least one portable charger and make sure it’s charged overnight, every night. Whether it’s responding to quick work emails on breaks, scanning badge codes at our booth, coordinating location with the other Mojo-Makers, or live-Tweeting events, mobility makes events a lot easier.
Back-up chargers give me the peace of mind of being able to use my phone when needed, without worrying about conserving battery.
Lastly, I listen to a couple of ambient sounds when I fall asleep. The consistency reminds me of my own home, and makes it easier to sleep in an unfamiliar location.
Andrea McCarter, Project Coordinator
An event tip of mine is to write down details from conversations you had during the event. Considering you may meet upwards of 50 people in one day, this will ensure that when you are following up later you remember what the conversation entailed and, if they are a potential customer, how your business can help them.
Given I have a minute or two between conversations, I will write down details to help me remember what we talked about. Even something as simple as writing down the color shirt they were wearing can help jog your memory later. This can also be really helpful for your salesperson later when they are following up with potential customers.
This next tip is more female-focused, but it is so important to wear comfortable shoes! There is nothing worse than walking around in pain at an event. Not only does it make you less productive during the day, you’re left with swollen or blistered feet, which is never fun.
Tom Ladeau, Social Media Manager
Snacks and water during the day are important, but another way to keep yourself going for a full day is to eat a filling and healthy breakfast. If you eat a good amount in the morning, you’ll have energy for the rest of the day and can supplement with snacks as needed. Focus on protein, some carbs, and healthy fats and you should be good to go for quite a while.
Also, if you are flying home directly from the event, change back into comfortable clothes before you get on the plane. If you are able to, leave a few minutes early to give yourself time to change and get to the airport.
Leaving a little early can also help avoid the rush of buses, taxi’s, and rideshares that will happen when the event officially ends.
Michael McCarthy, Account Executive
There are a few simple things I find helpful when attending an event. I try to get plenty of sleep prior and to eat a good breakfast the day of.
I also make sure that I have plenty of business cards to avoid running out during the event. I carry a pen on me so that when I get someone else’s card I can write relevant notes on their card for follow up.
If there is alcohol at the event it is important to pace yourself. A good trick I learned is to have a water in between every drink and to know your limits.
If you meet a good contact without a card snap a picture of their badge or something that will help you contact them after.
Lastly, make sure to follow up with good contacts made from the event.