Attending a large trade show can seem overwhelming. After all, there are so many great people to talk to, and there’s always a lot to learn. You’re investing your time and hard-earned money to come home with actionable information, newfound motivation, and more industry relationships. Life as an entrepreneur can be lonely, and that is only magnified in the eCommerce space.
Attending events that are focused on eCommerce can help foster connection. “Conferences and trade shows that are tailored to eCommerce merchants are important because they provide actionable advice, networking opportunities and they generate a collaborative spirit that’s hard to find anywhere else,” said Liz Fickenscher, Industry Liasion at eComEngine.
In this blog post, we’ll share some of our favorite tips to help you make the most of PROSPER 2019 and other trade shows that you plan to attend this year.
Preparation is Key
Before attending the show, think about what you hope to gain from the experience. Whether your chief concern is educating yourself about ways to resolve a pain point in your business, researching new software, or you’re mostly interested in networking with other Amazon sellers, create a short list of goals to help you stay on track.
To prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information and networking opportunities available, take some time to familiarize yourself with the show’s agenda after registration. Create an hourly schedule for yourself to keep track of any presentations or events you’d like to attend. Make a list of vendors you’d like to meet and other attendees you’d like to connect with.
When packing, don’t forget business cards and comfortable shoes! You’ll be meeting a lot of people in a short amount of time, so business cards are a great way to remember who to connect with after the event.
During the Show
Trade shows are packed with activities, from educational presentations to after hours networking events. Add in the travel required to get there, long hours spent walking the floor, essential work tasks, and other factors, and it’s a recipe for exhaustion. Take care of yourself by drinking plenty of water, eating regular meals/snacks, taking breaks as needed, and delegating any work tasks that another team member can manage while you’re at the show. Most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself! Trade shows offer an excellent opportunity for professional development in a new setting with lots of great information, which can inspire you to make positive changes to your business.
Bring a small notebook or take notes on an electronic device while attending presentations. Consider keeping a short running list of who you met and what you learned for later reference. Keeping your notes in one easily accessible place will help you stay organized when you return from the trade show and begin implementing your new ideas.
Putting Ideas into Action
When you’re feeling inspired by all the energy of a trade show, it can be tempting to try to put lots of new ideas into your business at the same time. This typically results in you (and your staff) feeling burned out, and it’s generally ineffective because there are so many things happening at once.
A better approach is to reread your notes, spend some time contemplating which ideas would make the most impact on your bottom line or quality of life, then start testing them out one at a time. Set aside a short block on your calendar each month to remind you to check in with yourself and your team about any new initiatives that began as a result of attending the trade show. What are you doing differently since you attended? How can you use the knowledge that you learned for continuous improvement?
See You in Las Vegas!
The eComEngine team looks forward to attending the PROSPER Show each year. We hope you enjoy the show, and we’ll see you there!