Last week Adam and I flew to Sydney to attend the HIA Home Show. It was a quick research trip, as we were thinking to hosting our own stand at the upcoming home show in Brisbane. Here are my top tips for getting the most out of attending a home show.
1. Be prepared- have a list of what you want to achieve from the show. Are there specific people you would like to talk to? Are you there for products or for services? Or are you there just to get a feel for who is in the market? Trade shows are full of all sorts of related businesses, not just builders and the like. In our case we saw pillow suppliers, knife sellers, cookware suppliers, also home loan experts and banks, so the range of people you can speak to is amazing.
2. Give yourself plenty of time. Trade shows are typically big, and spread out all over the place. It can take quite some time to move through the displays, and then often when you arrive at a stand and you would like to speak to someone, it can take time for them to get to speak to you. Thousands of people walk through the doors of these shows and most of them have similar expectations as you do, which really means lots of people want ot speak to the same people, at the same time. Having plenty of time, allows you not to be disappointed at the end of the day if you haven’t had the opportunity to speak to someone.
3. Take the time to do a walk through before going back to speak to individuals. We walked through the whole display, then had some lunch before planning exactly who we wanted to speak too. Because all the suppliers are listed by business name, we found we would have missed some of the people we wanted to talk to, had we not had our walk through first.
4. Don’t be afraid to approach the staff at the stands. We witnessed quite a few stands that had staff that looked terrified, and were hiding within the stand. For some of us, working at these kinds of shows can be a very confronting time, however our businesses are our own, nobody knows our products like us, we may just need someone to break the ice with us.
5.Take business cards. If you have business cards, or something with your contact details, take it. Most but not all stands will have some way to record your information, however there may be times you really like a product or a service and would like to speak with them further, having your contact details to hand over, will ensure you get the information you require.
6. Wear comfy shoes. There is a lot, and I mean a lot of walking to be done at home shows, the last thing you would want, is to get so far into the show, only to be let down by sore feet. We may or may not be talking from experience here 🙂
7. Take water and a small snack.The food and drinks offered at the show are great, but the lines are long. Having something quick and easy to eat and drink is super helpful and certainly made our time at the show far more pleasant.
These are my top tips, each of which I believe will save you time and effort.
Have you been to a trade show before? Do you have any other tips you could share?