So, you’re in San Diego attending the IPC Apex Expo. You spent money on a plane ticket, you’ve spent a fortune on a hotel room as well as the car and the meals and everything else it takes for you to spend a week in San Diego. You’re also taking a week away from the office if you’re in management or off the road if you’re in sales so now you are really under the gun to make this investment pay off for you. And that’s if you’re there alone. If you have brought other people for the company it gets worse and the pressure mounts for you to get some sort of ROI out of the show. So, this is what you have to do. You have to attend the show with purpose. You have to make every minute count. You have to make sure that you squeeze every ounce of value from that show.
So, this is what you do. Here are nine tips to make sure you yield the absolute highest value possible from IPC Apex Expo
- Set goals; know exactly what you want to get out of the show. Make a clear and concise list of what you want to accomplish. This way you will eliminate all distractions and purposely do what you set out to do.
- Know exactly who you want to see and why you want to see them. If you’re smart, you’ll set up appointments in advance so that by the time you get to the show you will know exactly who you are going to see and when you are going to see them and yes what you are going to talk about.
- Know where they are located. Think how much time you can lose walking up and down those long aisles in search of booths and people. Use the handy little directories that IPC hands out when they give you your badge. Or better yet put the show APP on your phone and then then use it. You will be surprised at how much time you’ll save. One of the things I like to do is look at the end, and get the booth numbers and locations for everyone I have to meet with. It’s easy and save a ton of time.
- Here is a good one. Scout of the convention center and find a good and quiet isolated spot to meet people. A place that is away from the maddening crowd, a place that provides privacy when you need to have a confidential discussion with someone.
- Wok from morning until night. This is the one time of the year that just about everyone you work with in the industry is in one location. Use breakfast, lunch, and dinner and after dinner for meetings. Take full advantage of every minute you are in such close-proximity of the people you do business with.
- If you are running a board shop or assembly company, you should be talking to your equipment vendors to not only see any new equipment they are highlighting this year. By the way a show is a great time to buy that piece of equipment you have been considering. The vendor has brought it to the show and he is going to have to ship back home anyway, she would much prefer to ship it to your facility that back this his. Great deals are made at trade shows and along those lines it looks good to have your name on a sign indicating that you have bought this particular piece of equipment. You get the bragging rights and everyone knows you are investing in your company.
- Review: always be reviewing. Are you seeing the people you want to see? Are you checking out the equipment you are considering buying? Are you taking time to check out new equipment as well?
- Leave time to meet new people? This is a great time for you to seek and find new opportunities. Make sure you are on the outlook for those. If you are not getting at least three business opportunities from a show you are wasting your time.
- Follow up as soon as possible. Once you get back to that unbelievably expensive hotel room Review all your meetings and send -emails out to those you met; thanking them for their time, summarizing the meeting and setting up the next meeting. Make sure you do this every night before you go to bed. This is the most important thing you can do. This is the action that will assure you a great ROI in the end.
And one more always under promise and over deliver, right? Write up a review of the show. Complete a detailed evaluation of the show. What you got out of it and if it was worth it and if you are going to attend next year. This is also a good time to make a list of what you learned this year and what you will differently to improve that value of your attendance next year. It’s only common sense