How to survive an exhibition

Wednesday 01 February 2017 by Florence Evans There is a certain amount of skill required to survive an exhibition, so take note of these tips to ensure you don’t flounder on the first day.

Exhibitions are an important feature in the calendar for many industries and can reap lots of rewards for companies and individuals alike. But while we all know this deep down, it can feel like a huge slog to get through them. On the first day, everyone is well-turned out and enthusiastic, but by the final stretch, it’s as if that smile has been plastered on for weeks, not mere days.

So, we’ve put together a selection of top tips to ensure you survive whatever exhibitions are thrown at you with professionalism and your sanity intact. Read on to find out how to tackle this most unique form of business event.

Dress for comfort as well as style

While it’s important to look smart, that sheen will soon drop away if you’re not comfortable. After all, exhibitions involve a lot of standing around, as well as walking, so dress to impress yourself as much as prospective clients. Nowhere is this more important than on the feet. Go for business flats, not heels, as crumpling in pain is never a good look.

Pack some snacks

We’ve all been there, heading off to grab some lunch when we bump into a very useful contact. That 20-minute chat that is so invaluable has just used up any spare time in the day for eating and before you know it, you’re back to meeting prospective clients and attending sessions. Pop some granola bars and pieces of fruit in your bag to munch on the go, as these will keep the hunger at bay.

Don’t forget to drink

Even if there’s plenty of tea and coffee on offer throughout the show, be sure to keep yourself topped up with water. Hide a bottle somewhere on your stand or pop one into your bag if you’re wandering around the venue and make an effort to have a few sips on a regular basis. The temperature at exhibitions can be erratic and being dehydrated will make you flag quicker.

Identify your goals

There are many fringe benefits of attending an exhibition, but be sure you know what you want to get out of it from the beginning. Once you have done this, you can plan your time to maximise your chances of achieving these goals. That may mean talking to certain people or having your brand seen by large numbers of individuals. Either way, be clear from the outset what it is you want to achieve.

Don’t bring too much kit

Whether you’re exhibiting or doing the rounds, it’s important not to be laden with stuff. You’ll either have to walk a long way from the car park to set up or will be left carrying it around with you all day. It’s a fine line to tread, as you want to be prepared and show off what your company can do. Whatever you do bring, make sure it is packed up in a sensible way in a suitcase with a handle or something just as easy to manage.

Stay in a serviced apartment

A good night’s sleep is the best preparation you could have for an exhibition. Achieve this by staying in a serviced apartment with a comfortable bed and separate rooms for getting last minute tasks done and sleeping. Shut the door on your preparation, have a relaxing bath and feel even more relaxed than if you were at home, ready for the next day.

Finally, stop by our Locke by SACO stand at the Business Travel Show and grab a complimentary Martin Miller Gin and Tonic, we won't judge, it's networking, right?

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