Like you, I have traveled to many shows around the United States and abroad as both an attendee and as an exhibitor. I have learned a lot from all of my travels and I hope to share that information with you here. If my blistered feet and sore back did nothing else, they taught me some of the tricks to effectively working a show - on both sides of the booth.
I will get into a lot more details in future articles, but here are a few things I have learned that might help you now if you have a show coming up.
Working a show requires attendees to do a lot of walking, while exhibitors do a lot of standing. If you are a woman, it is even worse because we are often expected to wear heels. So, here are a few tips regarding comfort:
- Wear comfortable shoes - Style and comfort are often at opposite ends of the shoe spectrum. However, try to find footwear that will be comfortable for you to wear all day. Nine West has some fairly stylish shoes that are more comfortable that some of the other brands. I hear Rockport makes some very good shoes for men that blend comfort and style.
- Wear layers - If you are attending a convention in Chicago during the winter, it is cold outside and warm inside. You don't want to go without a jacket outside, but inside it will be too hot. So, wear layers and drop off the exterior garments at the coat check
Know where the trade show is being held in relation to the airport and your hotel. Have a plan for getting around while in town and consider backups. For example, if you are planning on walking, know where the taxi stand is should a rain storm move in.
Water & Food
You definitely want to bring a bottle of water with you. You will get parched inside a convention center from all of the talking and walking. Also, having some sort of snack with you is a good idea. I like a plain granola bar, but nuts and other things are good also.
This should be obvious.