Heading to a Trade Show? Here’s How to Get the Most Out of the Experience


Christopher Schobert
Director of Communications
October 1, 2019
minutes to read
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Trade show season in the home services industry has finally arrived. And whether you are heading to shows for the first time or you are a regular attendee, it is important to plan ahead so you’ll get the most out of the experience.

(Note that attending a trade show as a vendor is an entirely different ball game. Check out this article from the Trade Show News Network focusing on making your booth and products stand out.) 

Remember the simple things — like taking care of yourself. 

Pointman’s VP of Customer Success, Gregory Dooley, is a trade show veteran. He stresses the importance of remembering the simple things, like your health and well-being.

“You’re going to be talking a lot,” Dooley says. “Make sure to take breaks to drink water.”

In addition, Dooley says, pack properly. Bring comfortable shoes, and some lip balm and gum or breath mints. You’re meeting people for the first time. Be certain that the impression you’re making is a favorable one. 

And did you remember to pack your business cards?

Have a goal in mind.

Are you looking for new tools? Do you want to stay up to date with the latest technology? Are you on the hunt for field service management software? Maybe it’s about education for you, or simply making some new industry contacts. 

Whatever your goal, stay focused. Before you leave, make yourself a checklist or agenda so you don’t lose sight of why you went in the first place. However, you should also be flexible. If something outside your original intent piques your interest, explore it. You likely won’t have another chance for quite some time.

Don’t just talk — listen.

Being an active listener (here are some tips from Indeed) is the best way to see what vendors and competitors are making an impact in your industry. Pay attention, maintain your focus, and ask questions. 

Ahead of time, try preparing a few ice-breaker questions to keep in your back pocket (whether figuratively or literally), like “What are you hoping to get out of this show?” or “What’s the biggest challenge for contractors in your market?”

Take note of standout ideas.

It’s no secret that learning from your competitors can help make you more successful. That’s true in your hometown, but even better when attending an event featuring contractors from around the nation — chances are good you’ll find ideas that haven’t made it to your area yet.

See an approach to sales that knocks your socks off? Or a tip you’ve never heard before? Jot down some notes on your phone or email them to yourself, if not on the spot, then at the hotel bar or before going to bed — whatever you need to do to make sure you don’t return home and wonder what it was that inspired you for that one brief moment on the trade show floor. 

When you get home, take action. 

Ever have a great idea, write it down and then never do anything about it? Don’t let that happen after a trade show. Spend some time sorting through your takeaways. What can you act on now?

Make yourself accountable for this before you even go to the show. Put an appointment on your calendar ahead of time to sit down and go through your notes, or set a meeting with your partners or staff for a couple days after you return, to share and discuss your newfound insights.

Good luck — and don’t forget the comfortable shoes.

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